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Friday, May 20, 2011

Newspaper Editor Yanks "Homophobic" Column After Staff Backlash

Posted By and on Fri, May 20, 2011 at 12:17 AM

click to enlarge Read it and weep
  • Read it and weep

Following staff backlash, the editor of the Annapolis-based The Capital newspaper reportedly yanked a column apologizing for a Mother's Day article featuring lesbian parents.


In support of editor and publisher Tom Marquardt's decision, the San Francisco based group COLAGE: People With A Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender or Queer Parent, formerly known as Children of Lesbians and Gays Everywhere, wants to help the newspaper better understand single-sex parent families.

"COLAGE will send a copy of our new Donor Insemination guide to The Capital publisher Tom Marquardt to provide him and his staff with the unique perspectives of people born through donor insemination," said Beth Teper, executive director of the group.


In his scotched column, Marquardt apologized for running a Mother's Day article profiling a lesbian couple raising two boys who had been conceived through artificial insemination.

"Difference is not what our readers wanted on a day when dad and kids shower love on the family matriarch. 

Unfortunately for us, we lost sight of what the readers want to read: feel good stories about people who reflect their values. Newspapers need to mirror its readers -- all of them perhaps, but inclusion not at the exception of the majority.

Media blogger Jim Romenesko got an e-mail from Marquardt after the column was spiked, in which the editor makes the fascinating assertion that gays are fine on every day but Mother's Day.

It would be wrong to assume that the column would have run without

editing and adjustment -- I gave it to the key players seeking feedback,

correction, and suggestions. I am meeting with the staff in a few minutes

and out of that conversation may come reason to write about the subject

in a different way. But that particular column will not run." He also

says he wants to make it clear "that my objection is not the story, but

the story running on Mother's Day. 


Teper, the COLAGE executive director, sent us an e-mail suggesting Marquardt might reconsider his position of no gays on Mother's Day:

As the daughter of a lesbian mother and executive director of COLAGE, I

believe Mother's Day is a perfect time to celebrate and honor all families.

Living in a world that treats LGBTQ families differently can be isolating

and challenging. In fact, seeing our families recognized in the media helps

young people know they are not the only one. 

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