Newspaper Backs Off Threat to Censor Unwelcome Views of Gay Marriage

A newspaper editor in Harrisburg, PA has thought better of his statement that voices opposing same-sex marriage would no longer be welcome in either op-eds or letters to the editor of his newspaper. He now says all views are welcome.

The kerfuffle began on Friday morning after the Supreme Court handed down its imposition of same-sex marriage on the country. A perhaps overly exuberant John L. Micek of PennLive/The Patriot-News almost immediately told his readers that the issue was closed and that opposing views would no longer be welcome. He compared opposing views to hating blacks and Jews.

He now says his intentions were pure, but he was misunderstood. He only meant they would not publish letters and op-eds that contained slurs, the kind he says he received all day long, though his initial statement was much broader than that:

As a result of Friday’s ruling, PennLive/The Patriot-News will very strictly limit op-Eds and letters to the editor in opposition to same-sex marriage.

These unions are now the law of the land. And we will not publish such letters and op-Eds any more than we would publish those that are racist, sexist or anti-Semitic.

Micek says, “What almost immediately followed was an object lesson in the law of unintended consequences. And, sadly, the strongly worded message included in our editorial was lost.”

Micek says he spent a good part of yesterday mulling this over and getting advice, and he decided to issue a further statement that he only meant they would not print slurs such as “faggot,” though it is impossible to believe such slurs and “playground insults” were allowed in the op-eds or letters to the editor even prior to the Friday Supreme Court decision.

Micek said he “put his foot in his mouth” and that opponents of same-sex marriage are welcome in the pages of The Patriot-News.

Opponents of same-sex marriage remain concerned, however, that characterizations of their views as tantamount to bigotry—made constantly by same-sex marriage proponents—have now been constitutionalized by five members of the Supreme Court. More than one dissent in the case made the point that opponents of same-sex marriage may see their freedoms curtailed.

Follow Austin Ruse on Twitter @austinruse


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