A North Dakota paper that currently bans same sex marriage announcements is reviewing its policy after an outpouring of support for one lesbian couple whose announcement was turned down.
Allison Johnson and Kelsey Smith posted a screen shot of the email from the paper, The Forum, turning them down — and it went viral. Someone even started a Change.org petition for the women, which currently has over 2,000 signatures. Johnson and Smith described to Jezebel how the news spread:
“We thought, ‘Hmm, we’ve never seen an ad like this before, so we’ll be the first. Cool!” Johnson told us. “We certainly didn’t expect to get rejected.” [...]
Johnson was shocked by the letter; she describes Fargo as a “phenomenal,” supportive and forward-thinking community, and says she would never have expected to be shamed for her sexuality by anyone in the area, much less its most popular local paper. She said she initially planned to send a screencap of the email to her partner, but later decided to post it on her Facebook as well, hoping she could rally some of her friends to write letters to the paper. It didn’t take long for the outrageous (yet incredibly bland) missive to spread through Facebook and Twitter, inspiring outrage among Fargo residents and all over the globe. By Monday night, The Forum’s Facebook page was filled with angry comments and promises of canceled subscriptions.
In an article today, The Forum editor Matthew Von Pinnon said, “The Forum is reviewing its policy about publishing same-sex announcements. …This is the second such request in recent months. We will communicate a decision once it’s made.” Presumably, the decision should not take very long at all, since it only requires the paper’s editors to concur that the paper should print same-sex marriage announcements.
Smith and Johnson will be getting married August 1 in New York City, since same sex marriage is still illegal in North Dakota.