Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Cheers and Jeers: Some Readers Praise a Utah Paper for Running Male Couple Feature; Others Are Bitter

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Cheers and Jeers: Some Readers Praise a Utah Paper for Running Male Couple Feature; Others Are Bitter

Article excerpt

The Salt Lake Tribune heard both cheers and jeers from readers last month after running a profile of gay male couple who are parents to a nine-month-old girl.

The couple, Troy Duty and Maughn Rollins, few restrictions. The newspaper stipulated that ad had to run on a page separate from other wedding announcements, and told the couple that words "wedding" or "marriage" could not be used.

"This was die first one we wanted to walk softly," classified manager Diana Butcher told a reporter from the newspaper. "We wanted to see the reaction of the public before we made a stronger statement."

On Oct. 1, the notice appeared along with a picture of the couple.

"Troy Duty and Maughn, Rollins will formalize their relationship in a commitment ceremony this evening at die Santa Fe Restaurant," it read. "A reception will low."

A few readers told the newspaper that they uncomfortable with the ad, but the biggest response came when the Tribune followed up with a feature story about the couple a few months later.

On Dec. 29, under the headline "With this Ring," Duty and Rollins talked about their commitment to each other and to Duty's nine-month-old niece, Nicole, whom the two are raising.

Shelledy said the story ran m the Home and Family section of the newspaper to emphasize that there is more than one kind of family.

For some people, [gay relationships] are a big issue and will be an issue until the day they die," Shelledy said. "They know it exists and they want it out of sight and out of mind. …

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