Omaha World Herald hears a proud father's request and changes its wedding announcement policy to include legal same-sex weddings.
Washington - The Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest civil rights organization working to achieve LGBT equality - today applauded the change in the Omaha World Herald's wedding announcement policy. OWH will now include same-sex wedding announcements in its "Celebrations" section if the weddings are legal unions. The change came after Jeff Wilke, an Omaha father, attempted to place an announcement for his daughter's wedding to her fiancée in the newspaper. OWH publisher Terry Kroeger denied his request and Mr. Wilke mounted a successful facebook campaign to have the policy changed.
"Like any father would be, Mr. Wilke was proud to announce his daughter's wedding in his local newspaper," said HRC President Joe Solmonese. "Unwilling to compromise his pride for his daughter, he was successful in changing the policy of a newspaper in a state that does not recognize same-sex marriages. Newspapers across the country should follow the Omaha World Herald's lead."
In a statement to readers on Tuesday, OWH publisher Terrry Kroeger announced the change. The newspaper will only publish announcements for "legal weddings" and anniversaries of "a legal marriage." In other words, the OWH will only publish announcements for same-sex marriages performed in a jurisdiction where they are legal. Nebraska does not recognize same-sex marriages, but neighboring Iowa does. The OWH will not publish announcements on commitment ceremonies, partnerships, and other non-marriage unions, regardless of gender.
Recognizing this change will anger some on both sides of the issue, Mr. Kroeger said, "This change will provide for a public 'celebration' of important milestones in the lives of people who take the significant steps toward legally sanctioned marriage."
Solmonese added, "Although the change in policy at OWH doesn't go far enough, we commend the step toward equality taken by the newspaper's publisher. Mr. Kroeger's heart-felt wishes to Mr. Wilke's daughter Kristy and her fiancée Jessica are a welcomed sign that loving families are changing hearts and minds everywhere."
The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.
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