Mississippi Newspaper Owner Defends Lesbian Wedding

Mazel tov! (Courtesy of Laurel Leader-Call)

Mazel tov! (Courtesy of Laurel Leader-Call)

Mississippi newspaper the Laurel Leader-Call had the audacity to print about the first same-sex wedding in Jones County.

It even had the gall to put the news on the front page! Clutch your pearls, kids. The article talked about the marriage between Jessica Powell and Crystal Craven, the latter of whom is suffering from stage 4 brain cancer.

In response some people cancelled their subscription and sent hate mail and angry phone calls to the paper. The reporter is apparently conservative and the article was a straight news story. Still, that won’t stop the bigots.

Newspaper owner Jim Cegielski took a stand against these homophobic rants with an extremely well-written op-ed.

  • On why they covered this: “We were well aware that the majority of people in Jones County are not in favor of gay marriage. However, any decent newspaper with a backbone can not base decisions on whether to cover a story based on whether the story will make people angry.”
  • On the role of a newspaper: “The job of a community newspaper is not pretending something didn’t take place or ignoring it because it will upset people. No, our job is to inform reads what is going on in our own and let them make their own judgments. That is exactly what we did with the wedding story. Our reporter heard about the wedding, attended it, interviewed some of the participants and wrote a news story. If there had been protestors at the wedding, we would have covered that the exact same way… but there weren’t any. We never said it was a good thing or a bad thing, we simply did our job by telling people what took place.”
  • In response to people disliking the word historic: “You don’t have to like something for it to be historic. The Holocaust, the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and the Black Sox scandal are all historic. I’m in no way comparing the downtown wedding of two females to any of those events—even though some of you made it quite clear that you think gay marriage is much worse—,I’m just saying that whether you liked the story or not, the first known gay wedding to take place in Jones County is still historic.”

We’re Team Jim, clearly.