A newspaper in Harrisburg, PA has announced henceforth it intends to censor certain views about marriage deemed no better than racism, sexism, anti-Semitism.
John L. Micek, editorial page editor and formerly state capital reporter, made the announcement shortly after the Supreme Court handed down its imposition of gay marriage on the county. Micek wrote:
“As a result of Friday’s ruling, PennLive/The Patriot-News will no longer accept, nor will it print, op-Eds and letters to the editor in opposition to same sex marriage.” In a Tweet later in the day, Micek doubled down, “This is not hard: We would not print racist, sexist, or anti-Semitic letters. To that we add homophobic ones. Pretty simple.”
Feeling the heat, Micek later appeared to back down just a bit, but did he? “Clarification: We will not foreclose discussion of the high court’s decision, but arguments that gay marriage is wrong/unnatural are out.”
The site will allow discussion of the High Court’s decision but it appears that any suggestion the result was wrongly will eventually have no place in Micek’s news outlet. And the site makes clear that even debate about the Court’s decision has a short shelf life.
Yet another clarification came later in the day. “…I think we can all recognize that there are certain forms of speech that, while Constitutionally permissible, really do nothing to advance the discussion in a civil society.” Micek then goes on to compare opposition to same-sex marriage to “hate speech” and therefore beyond the pale for PennLive/The Patriot-News editors and readers.
Brandon McGinley of the Pennsylvania Family Institute, a pro-family advocacy group, wrote at The Federalist, “…what better way to ‘stamp out every vestige of dissent’ than for the gatekeepers of public information (despite the proliferation of the internet, legacy media still acts as a gatekeeper for a great many Americans) to filter it out?”
“The decision to censor anti-same-sex marriage opinions is an incredible genuflection to The Nine of the Supreme Court… Micek may have gone on say this was about giving no quarter to bigotry, but the direct working is clear: They are excluding certain opinions because those opinions conflict with the Supreme Court,” said McGinley.
Micek did not respond immediately to a series of questions about the editorial move.
Follow Austin Ruse on Twitter @austinruse