Mississippi Newspaper Defends Publishing Story About ‘Historic’ Same-Sex Wedding

Earlier this month, the Laurel Leader-Call, a tri-weekly newspaper covering Jones County, Mississippi, published a story about an “historic” wedding between Jessica Powell and Crystal Craven. Craven is currently battling brain cancer and is not sure of her prognosis, which is partly why the couple decided to celebrate their union with family, friends, and even Craven’s doctors. However, the newspaper’s readers were outraged by the coverage of the wedding and objected.

This week, newspaper owner Jim Cegielski published an editorial defending the article and pointing out readers’ hypocrisy about what they think harms children:

Many of the calls I received had the caller stating something to the effect, “I don’t need my children to read this.” Ugh. We have stories about child molesters, murders and all kinds of vicious, barbaric acts of evil committed by heinous criminals on our front page and yet we never receive a call from anyone saying, “I don’t need my child reading this.” Never. Ever. However, a story about two women exchanging marriage vows and we get swamped with people worried about their children. […]

You have a right to believe whatever you want. We weren’t trying to change your mind about that. We were simply reporting the story to the best of our ability. We are also happy to report the other side, too. We have run numerous letters that have attacked gay marriage in the LL-C since that story ran.

However, I can’t help but be saddened by the hate-filled, viciousness of many of the comments directed toward our staff.

Cegielski should be commended for not hedging in referring to the calls as as “hate calls.” It’s unclear what it is these readers believe they are protecting their children from. So far, 15 have canceled their subscription.