FARGO, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota's largest newspaper is reviewing its policy not to print same-sex wedding announcements in response to complaints.
The Forum reported (http://bit.ly/NI6YDn ) it received multiple negative comments on its Facebook page and an online petition was started after it refused to print a Fargo couple's same-sex wedding announcement.
The two - Kelsey Smith, 27, of Fargo, and Allison Johnson, 31, of Austin, Texas - live in Fargo but are to be married Aug. 1 in New York City.
Johnson said she submitted the request to the paper early Saturday for the wedding notification to be printed next Sunday, but she received an email Monday morning that told her the newspaper does not print engagement or wedding announcements for same-sex couples.
"I think the simple idea that we're not able to announce our celebration is just, in my opinion, hurtful," Johnson told The Forum. "I felt like we were treated unfairly."
Forum Editor Matthew Von Pinnon says the newspaper is reviewing its rule.
"This is the second such request in recent months. We will communicate a decision once it's made," Von Pinnon said.
Johnson snapped a photo of the email and posted it online. She also wrote an open letter criticizing the policy and sent a copy to the mayor's office and to the newspaper's opinion editor.
The situation led to an online petition calling for the newspaper to allow same-sex announcements. The petition had more than 800 signatures by 11 p.m. Monday.
Johnson said the wedding is being held in New York because the state recognizes same-sex marriage. The reception will be held in Fargo, she said.
Marriage in North Dakota is explicitly defined as "between one man and one woman," according to the state's Century Code.
The newspaper's parent company, Forum Communications Co., also owns the Grand Forks Herald, The Jamestown Sun and The Dickinson Press. It also owns newspapers in Minnesota, South Dakota and Wisconsin as well as television stations and commercial printing operations.
Information from: The Forum, http://www.in-forum.com
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.