Gay Marriage Announcement Changing - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Paper's Gay Marriage Policy Changing

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Ending a week-long controversy that had many in the Red River Valley scratching their heads, the Fargo Forum on Sunday announced it would begin publishing announcements of legal gay marriages, engagements and anniversaries. 

The outdated policy at the newspaper came to light when Allison Johnson and Kelsey Smith decided to announce they are getting married next week in New York. Allison and Kelsey met several years ago in Minnesota, and moved to Fargo last year. The paper rejected the announcement with a form email to the same sex couple.

"Initially it was a total punch in the stomach that we were rejected by The Forum, but this just surpasses that tenfold," said Smith. The "this" she refers to is the outpouring of support they received. "It's making a difference, not just here in Fargo and not just for Kelsey and I," said Johnson.

Matt Von Pinnon, Editor of the Forum, insisted in Sunday's announcement that reaction it received was evenly split between  both sides. "It's safe to say that people in our region are equally divided over the issue of gay marriage, a debate that goes well beyond the question of whether this newspaper should publish such announcements," said Von Pinnon.


The paper will not publish announcements for civil unions and commitment ceremonies, the only options available to gay people in North Dakota or Minnesota.  It would only cover people who plan to marry in one of the states were gay marriage is legal. The pro-gay marriage group  Freedomtomarry.org lists those as: Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, the District of Columbia. The paper says as more states and foreign countries change their laws, th Forum policy will change as well.

"Simply put, we will recognize legal marriages, wherever they occur," said Matt Von Pinnon, Editor of the Forum.


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