Monday, August 19, 2002

N.Y. Times to publish same-sex commitments

The Associated Press

        NEW YORK — The New York Times plans to begin publishing announcements of same-sex commitment ceremonies along with its wedding announcements.

        The announcements of formal gay and lesbian unions will begin next month in the paper's Sunday Styles section, Howell Raines, executive editor of the Times, said in Sunday's editions.

        “In making this change, we acknowledge the newsworthiness of a growing and visible trend in society toward public celebrations of commitment by gay and lesbian couples — celebrations important to many of our readers, their families and their friends,” Raines said.

        “We recognize that the society remains divided about the legal and religious definition of marriage, and our news columns will remain impartial in that debate, reporting fully on all points of view,” he said.

        Gay and lesbian couples featured in the paper will be selected by editors under the same criteria used to choose the weddings: the newsworthiness and accomplishments of the couples and their families, Raines said.

        Occasionally the Vows column, a longer feature on one couple, will focus on a same-sex couple, Raines said.

        After the newspaper's announcement, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation said it was launching an effort to double within a year the number of local and regional newspapers that list same-sex commitment ceremonies, unions and weddings.


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- N.Y. Times to publish same-sex commitments