A while back upon reading the Warrensburg Daily Star-Journal [no link – this paper is still in the 19th century] I noticed a commitment announcement for two individuals (along with a formal photo) who both happened to be male. The announcement appeared on the “People & Events” page (always page 2) of the paper.
A few days after the announcement a letter to the editor appeared in which an individual congratulated the two and wrote something to the effect “invite us to the reception, my husband and I give good gifts.” A few days after that another individual wrote a letter to the editor, which the paper published, criticizing the paper for publishing the announcement
This past Friday the paper published seven letters to the editor criticizing the publication of the announcement.
A Kansas City television station picked up the story, no doubt due to a concerted public relations campaign:
….John Scott and his partner Elijah Davidson have been together for awhile, so when it came to announcing their commitment, they didn’t think twice about doing things the traditional way.
But after their announcement was published in the Warrensburg newspaper, their love became a community issue…
….”I’m disappointed in it, and that’s why I expressed my concern in the newspaper. I hope they wouldn’t do something like that again,” Megan Moore, resident, said.
Moore said her pastor encouraged his congregation to write the newspaper with their concerns.
“I wouldn’t say that I was surprised, because that’s what the world is coming to at this point. I know it’s becoming more and more acceptable,” Moore said of the announcement’s publication…..
Moore wrote the following in her letter to the editor:
“…I am disgusted to hear that your paper would publish an article that attacks family values. I am disappointed to know that you put an article in your paper about the marriage of two men…”
There appears to be a little bit more upset in the letter than in the television interview.
Others wrote, too:
“…This decision [to publish the announcement] indicates a lack of respect for family values and a lack of concern for the unnatural lifestyle…”
“…The majority of people in this community, myself included, still believe that marriage is set apart to be a union of a man and a woman…”
Well, the voters of the state settled that a while back. But, the funny thing is, the announcement wasn’t about a marriage.
Still, another letter:
“…This kind of behavior is illegal in our state and as a large majority of our citizens consider themselves to be Christians, is a grossly immoral act against God…
…In the love of Jesus”
Is having a same sex partner illegal in Missouri? I didn’t know that.
“…This is a blatant attack on true marriage, the family, and the community. I call on you to offer an apology to us, the citizens of Johnson County and the surrounding area, for this egregious disservice…”
Well, speaking for myself, I’m okay with the announcement. It didn’t disturb me in the least. I won’t need an apology from the newspaper.
…Your bold decision to promote this lifestyle is a flagrant attack on the traditional family God has instituted for us…”
And here I was thinking that newspaper readership was down.
All those children without health insurance, instability across the world, global warming [oops, sorry, these folks probably don’t believe in global warming], a war in Iraq and another in Afghanistan, an all out assault on the Bill of Rights and the rule of law – and all it took was a simple little photo in the paper along with a commitment announcement for all these good people to clutch their pearls, cover their mouths in gasps of astonishment, and get a serious case of the vapors? My, my. Look what the world has come to.
Of course, you never pick a fight with someone who buys ink by the barrel. The paper printed the following below the letters:
Editor’s note: The word marriage was not used in the announcement.