GLAAD reports 584% increase in wedding announcements

wedding1.jpgWednesday morning I cracked open the newspaper to see a big article about the Oscar nominations–yes, the same Oscars nominations that were announced early Tuesday morning, and that everyone in the online media had been dissecting and discussing for a full 24 hours.

“Isn’t that cute?” I said to Michael. “The old media still thinks it’s relevant!”

That said, as much as we here at AfterElton mock the old media, they still have an important role to play. For one thing, they still have more legitimacy than the internet, home to blazing journalistic pioneers like Matt Drudge and Perez Hilton (“If it’s a rumor that I heard from a friend of a friend, or if it helps the Republicans or features Lindsey Lohan pantyless, print it!”).

Which is why I was thrilled to see this recent report from GLAAD about the increase in same-sex wedding announcements in newspapers:

Of the 883 daily newspapers in the United States whose editors have agreed to publish news of a same-sex couple’s engagement or civil union, 319 have printed one, according to a recent survey by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. (GLAAD).

The alliance, which persuaded The New York Times to begin publishing this news five years ago and has campaigned for other papers to do so, praised this progress and is urging couples to submit announcements to their local newspaper.

“When we started the campaign in 2002, we were at 129 papers. We are now at 883 newspapers across the country. That’s a 584 percent increase,” said Rashad Robinson, senior director of media programs at the organization’s Manhattan headquarters.

Now, according to GLAAD, the key is to get the word out to GLBT folks, to encourage them to get their ceremonies in the newspapers. GLAAD includes instructions on their website.

For me, this issue has never just been about equality and fairness; it’s actually about the legitimacy of the news media. After all, these weddings and ceremonies are happening; they’re news (they’re news even when they’re not recognized by the state, but now they’re legal in many states, they’re really news). And it’s totally, totally ludicrous for a newspaper to have a policy of censoring news just because some of their bigoted readers might be offended.

And yet that’s exactly what’s happening here.

So contact those newspapers, folks! And remember, it has the added benefit of driving the right-wing crazies, well, crazier.