News (USA)

Utah Newspaper Refuses Gay Couple’s Wedding Announcement

Tyler Barrick and Spencer Jones
Tyler Barrick and Spencer Jones

A southern Utah newspaper has rejected a gay couple’s wedding announcement, saying its policy is to publish announcements only for marriages legal under Utah law.

The Spectrum in St. George initially accepted a paid wedding announcement for Tyler Barrick and Spencer Jones last week, but then changed course, Jones said. The San Francisco couple were legally married June 17, 2008. They wanted the announcement printed in Jones’ hometown paper ahead of a family party next week.

Jones, 30, is a Utah native, and Barrick, 28, were both raised as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Jones, said he initially agreed to the paper’s request that the announcement run without a photo, after a clerk told him the publisher feared the picture might make readers uncomfortable. Jones later objected to being told their picture would be excluded, and in response president and publisher Donnie Welch decided that no announcement would run at all.  He told the couple, “As our policy is to run marriage announcements recognized by Utah Law, I have made the decision to not run this announcement.”

The Gay and Lesbian Aliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), Senior Director of Media Programs, Rashad Robinson issued this statement about Welch’s decision:

“We believe all couples should be able to celebrate their weddings with their local communities. What’s more meaningful than a wedding-the joining of a couple in a loving commitment? We believe everyone should have this opportunity and we’ll continue to work so that couples in every locality – including St. George, Utah – can share this rich part of their lives.”

The President and Publisher of The Spectrum, Donnie Welch, can be reached at (435) 674-6222 or email at [email protected].

The Spectrum is owned by Gannett, publisher of USA Today.

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