As we mentioned last month, Dallas couple Mark Reed-Walkup and Dante Walkup tried to have their legal same-sex wedding announced in the Weddings section of the Dallas Morning News. After all, what better way to celebrate your relationship than by sharing the news with your entire community?
Too bad the Dallas Morning News told Dante and Mark that their wedding announcement wasn't welcome. That's because the Dallas Morning News clings to a policy that tells same-sex couples who get legally married in jurisdictions that recognize marriage equality that their relationships are less than. Indeed, Dallas Morning News Publisher and CEO James Moroney has pledged not to publish same-sex wedding announcements in the Weddings section, citing the fact that Texas state law bans gay marriage.
Now to add insult to injury, the Dallas Morning News has sent Mark and Dante a bill for their wedding announcement that never ran. The bill asks the couple to pay $1,034. How very sweet of the Dallas Morning News: not only will they tell you that your relationship is meaningless, but they'll charge you over $1,000 for that advice, too.
Mark wrote the Dallas Morning News an email, asking why he would be sent a bill even though the paper never ran the same-sex wedding announcement.
"Does the Dallas Morning News always send out invoices to ‘customers’ who placed an ad online but it was never published due to the paper’s discriminatory policies? We just received an invoice today for our December ad that you banned from your paper because our wedding wasn’t ‘really’ a wedding in your eyes. Unbelievable,” Mark said in his note.
Unbelievable is right. The Dallas Morning News did respond, with Moroney himself issuing a brief statement: "Not a good practice. I’ll take up with sales. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.”
You know what else isn't a good practice? Telling gay couples that their legal marriages aren't fit for print. So far more than 8,000 people have challenged the Dallas Morning News to join papers like the New York Times, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Austin American Statesman, the Omaha World-Herald, and countless others which recognize same-sex weddings in their rightful place -- the Weddings section. Add your name to this campaign here.