Gay Marriage Reactions From Newspapers Across The United States Are Mostly Celebratory, But There Are A Few Hold Outs
Friday, June 26 was a pretty historic day, which means that the front page of newspapers across the country on Saturday were going to be pretty historic, too. Given the momentous occasion — the Supreme Court's ruling in favor of gay marriage that opened the doors for same-sex couples everywhere — the reactions of several regional newspapers seemed perfectly fitting. But unlike the marriage rights of LGBTQ citizens, not all responses were created equal.
Although many papers touted the words "LOVE" and "EQUALITY" in giant, bold letters across their headlines, a few hesitated, seeming wary of the victory itself.
"A right to marry," declared the Indianapolis Star in large letters on its Saturday front page. Underneath the bold headline, however, the paper reminded readers how frustrated the state's leaders were with the decision. "Pence disappointed; Battle is far from over at Indiana statehouse."
Of course, no one blamed the paper itself given the cold-shoulder reaction of Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, who earlier this year signed into law the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, giving corporations the same rights as individuals to deny service to LGBTQ citizens based on religious beliefs. The publication was simply covering all its bases. More important than the front page was the reason behind its content — and in Indiana, the reason has long been the uphill battle for equality.
"I believe marriage is the union between one man and one woman, and I am disappointed that the Supreme Court failed to recognize the historic role of the states in setting marriage policy in this country," said Pence in a statement on Friday, indicating that while he disagreed strongly with the ruling, he would ensure that state administrators followed the law and issued marriage licenses to same-sex couples who wanted them.
From coast to coast, here's how other states reacted to Friday's landmark decision on the front pages of their respective newspapers:
Maine's Morning Sentinel focused its attention on the little guy, featuring photos of some of the first same-sex couples to get hitched following the historic SCOTUS ruling.
The Telegram & Gazette remarked on the momentous occasion with a poignant photo of two women holding hands. It also featuring a world map featuring countries that recently approved similar measures and upheld court cases.
In Rhode Island, The Providence Journal boldly declared, "Gay marriage is U.S. Law," while mentioning the remarkable shift in cultural perspective that led to the historic ruling.
The Concord Monitor in New Hampshire also featured the split in the Supreme Court prominently while featuring the stories of some of its local residents who were planning to get hitched during the celebrations.
Connecticut's New Haven Register boldly displayed photos from the Supreme Court steps and mentioned that, though gay marriage had already been declared legal in 37 states across the nation, Friday's ruling had provided much needed reassurance.
The iconic New York Times declared that the nation's LGBTQ community had finally achieved "equal dignity" in terms of marriage laws and featured photos of 12 same-sex couples sharing sweet kisses and emotional moments together.
The Burlington Free Press, a Gannett subsidiary and USA Today affiliate, proudly published on its front page Saturday a photo of teary-eyed marriage-equality proponents with the viral hashtag #LoveWins bolded in red beneath.
New Jersey's Star-Ledger published a simple, yet poignant front page on Saturday that featured part of Justice Anthony Kennedy's opinion, highlighting the final lines: "The judgement of the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is reversed. Is is so ordered."
The News Journal, also a Gannett affiliate, surprisingly featured the landmark ruling as an aside, opting to publish a story about a local country music festival as its main story instead.
The Baltimore Sun, which has dedicated extensive coverage to the follow-up of the Freddie Gray case as well as the subsequent protests, featured the headline, "Rights battle isn't over" prominently at the top of its Saturday front page, reminding readers that while the victory was momentous, the fight for full LGBTQ rights was still a major hurdle.
The Washington Post featured on its Saturday front page a photo of the White House lit up colorfully in a rainbow shades to celebrate the SCOTUS ruling, while questioning whether opponents of the decision would attempt to resist the change.
The front page of The Philadelphia Inquirer also featured the celebration on the nation's Court steps while simultaneously featuring a photo and backstory of the man who first brought the case to the federal justices earlier this year, Jim Obergefell.
The Virginian Pilot also featured Justice Kennedy's written opinion on the historic ruling, grandly displaying the phrase "No union is more profound than marriage" at the top of its front page.
The Citizen Times of North Carolina proudly published the headline, "Love wins, Court favors same-sex marriage" while featuring an expert opinion of the "broad ruling" that could have wide-reaching, positive consequences for the LGBTQ community.
The Greenville News in South Carolina divided its focus on both the Charleston shooting funerals and the momentous SCOTUS decision, highlighting the questions over religious liberty being posed by various church officials.
The Tampa Bay Times featured a photo of exuberant gay marriage proponents under a large headline that declared the SCOTUS decision, "A right for all".
The Journal of West Virginia celebrated the win with a full-page feature, also displaying a poll which indicated that only 40 percent of the paper's audience supported the ruling.
Georgia's respected Atlanta Journal-Constitution loudly declared its support for the SCOTUS decision, dedicating an entire front page spread to the ruling and opponent reactions.
The Courier-Journal happily announced the decision on its front page on Saturday, featuring photos of supporters and same-sex couples under the bolded headline, "Happily Ever Equal."
The state's Leaf-Chronicle displayed a large photo of a gay couple being married while mentioning briefly that the ruling had been an unpopular one with some state officials.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer managed to set itself apart by printing Kennedy's final statements on a stark, black background, highlighting phrases about the "profound" meaning of marriage and the final sentence.
Michigan's Battle Creek Enquirer dedicated its entire front page on Saturday to the Supreme Court ruling, printing the photo of a gay couple mid-ceremony under the headline, "I Do."
In Alabama, which has undergone a confusing back-and-forth between federal rulings and embittered local officials declaring that they would refuse to issue marriage certificates to same-sex couple previously, the Montgomery Advertiser strongly showed its support for the decision, printing a full-width photo of a lesbian couple embracing and sharing a kiss after the announcement.
Mississippi's Hattiesburg American published a photo of a couple being married on its Saturday edition under the headline, "Same Sex, Same Rights," but also made note of the fact that state officials were not issuing licenses at the time because of an appeals court hold.
The famed Chicago Tribune took to Twitter on Friday evening, publicizing its bold front page spread for the next day, but one eagle-eyed reader pointed out that the spread had been notably changed by the following morning, instead featuring a photo of a same-sex couple embracing under the headline, "No longer may this liberty be denied."
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel also took a low-key approach to the decision, featuring the same-sex marriage decision at the top of its front page, but opting to highlight several notable local and international stories as well.
Minnesota's Star Tribune printed on its Saturday edition a truly adorable photo of a same-sex couple (with one planting a kiss on the other's cheek) under the photos and division of the Supreme Court Justices.
The Sioux City Journal, displaying a low-key photo of a lesbian couple set to wed, wrote that the right of same-sex couples to marry was now "legal in 50 states."
Missouri's Springfield News-Leader featured a photograph of a rainbow that appeared over the downtown area.
The Baxter Bulletin quipped that same-sex couples were now "free to tie the knot" next to a rainbow-hued rope on the front page of their Saturday edition.
In a colorful front-page spread, The New Orleans Advocate clarified that while the Court had OK'd gay marriage, state officials had not yet begun to issue licenses.
The Dallas Morning News published a photo of the first couple to wed in Dallas County following the SCOTUS announcement on Friday, Jack Evans and George Harris.
Oklahoma's Tulsa World paper also published Kennedy's opinion, featuring a photo of the courthouse steps under the headline, "Landmark ruling."
Kansas' Hutchinson News also displayed the news on a black background, calling the historic SCOTUS ruling "A Forbidden Rite No Longer."
The Omaha World-Herald prominently featured a photo of two blushing brides getting hitched after the court decision.
South Dakota's Argus Leader noted that while the victory had given way to joyous celebration, opponents of the decision were variably disappointed.
The Grand Forks Herald featured a photo of happy gay marriage proponents celebrating the victory on the steps of the county courthouse, posing with a notorious selfie-stick.
Montana's Great Falls Tribune featured the momentous occasion as a side story next to a feature piece about the local Blackfeet tribe.
The Wyoming Tribune Eagle featured a full-page spread on the ruling, publishing a number of emotionally charged photos of proponents and same-sex couples following the announcement.
The Denver Post declared Friday's ruling boldly, featuring one of the day's widely circulated victory photos.
The Sante Fe New Mexican proudly boasted of the win with a headline reading "Love wins in high court" above a photo of a gay couple sharing a sweet smooch.
The proud southwestern paper, The Arizona Daily Star, prominently displayed an adorable family of three taking a selfie in front of a rainbow-colored pride flag following the victory.
The Salt Lake Tribune on Saturday published a photo of gay marriage proponents celebrating the win at City Creek Park.
In a colorful spread, the Times-News of Idaho loudly declared Friday's victory a "Historic Ruling."
The Seattle Times proudly announced the win by filling its Saturday front page with multiple photos of pride-celebrations following the announcement.
In a text-heavy post on Saturday, The Oregonian published that "Marriage is a right for all."
The Las Vegas Sun highlighted the fact that the LGBTQ community, though in celebratory mode, still had a heap of new legal battles to face in the coming days.
The San Francisco Chronicle, representing its large LGBTQ population, proudly printed the headline "We Do" above a silhouette of a gay couple on its Saturday edition.
The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner prominently displayed photos of its LGBTQ residents celebrating the emotional moments following Friday's announcement.
The Star Avertiser featured not only photos of LGBTQ couples marrying following the SCOTUS decision, but a map of the progress of marriage rights in the United States as well, on a state by state basis.
Images: Morning Sentinel; Telegram & Gazette; The Providence Journal; The Concord Monitor; The New Haven Register; The New York Times; The Burlington Free Press; The Star-Ledger; The News Journal, The Baltimore Sun; The Washington Post; The Philadelphia Inquirer; The Virginian Pilot; The Citizen Times; The Greenville News; The Tampa Bay Times; The Journal; The Atlanta Journal Constitution; The Courier-Journal; The Leaf Chronicle; The Plain Dealer; The Battle Creek Enquirer; The Mongomery Adviser; The Hattiesburg Times; The Chicago Tribune; The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel; The Star Tribune; The Sioux City Journal; The Springfield News-Leader; The Baxter Bulletin; The New Orleans Advocate; The Dallas Morning News; Tulsa World; The Hutchinson News; The Omaha World Leader; The Argus Leader; The Grand Fork Herald; The Great Falls Tribune; The Wyoming Tribune-Eagle; The Denver Post; The Sante Fe New Mexican; The Arizona Daily Star; The Salt Lake Tribune; The Times-News; The Seattle Times; The Oregonian; The Las Vegas Sun; The San Francisco Chronicle; The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner; The Star Advertiser