Mississippi bigots freak out over local paper’s coverage of 1st gay wedding in county

It seems the good people of Jones County, Mississippi are quite beside themselves over a recent article in the local paper reporting on the first marriage of a same-sex couple in the county.  It’s a beautifully written story.  Fair and objective, but still treating the couple and their story as human beings.

(Same-sex marriages are not legally-recognized in Mississippi.  Though slavery was abolished in Mississippi two weeks ago, so hope springs eternal.)

Apparently the reporter failed to report that the brides had horns and spewed green slime.

The local readers were particularly upset that the paper called the wedding “historic,” and that it appeared on the front page where children might see it.  The editor got a lot of vicious phone calls, and several letters to the editor.

Here’s an example of the letters the paper.  You see, apparently the small-town Mississippi paper never has stories about heterosexuals:

Regarding your story “Historic Wedding”…will we be seeing heterosexual weddings featured on the front page soon? Will we see articles featuring traditional families and Christian family values featured on the the front page soon? How about some “human interest” stories that focus on traditional family values reflecting the standards in which most of our community believes. If there is no “social agenda” or “jounalistic senstionalism” involved in your reporting…if you truly want to be “fair” and “unbiased” in your reporting, then we can expect to see some of the stories I mentioned on the front page in the near future, right??? Well, I won’t hold my breath!

I know how this person feels.  How often have you said to yourself, “when are newspapers finally going to write about heterosexual marriages?” They could call them… wedding announcements.

gay-wedding-mississippiAnd by the way, one of the women getting married has stage 4 brain cancer, the story reports.  That’s who local Mississippians are calling an “abomination against God” in their hateful phone calls to the editor.

The editor of the paper wrote a great editorial responding to the bigots.  You can find it online here, page A5.  In his response, he noted a few key points.

1. We don’t base our news stories on whether the story in question is going to make you angry.

2. Our job isn’t to ignore the news that you don’t like. Our job is to report on what’s going on, and give you the facts so you can make your own judgment about them.

3. Just because we call something “historic” doesn’t mean we’re making a value judgment that it’s a good thing. Pearl Harbor was historic.

4. If you’re so worried about what your children will see on the front page of the paper, why don’t you ever call to complain when we report about rapes, kidnappings, murder?

Here’s another of the letters to the editor from the hateful locals:

I can’t figure out where gay people are being denied their rights under the law. They have the right to hold any position they want…they can’t be discriminated against in the workplace. They may live wherever they choose…they are protected from housing discrimination. No one can tell them what they may or may not say…they enjoy the rights and protection of the Bill of Rights and all other rights guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution. They may name their partners as their beneficieries in their wills and on their life insurance policies so they are protected financially. They can establish rights so far as end of life decisions are made so that their partners may be part of the medical process if they so choose. They enjoy all the rights of any American citizen…it seems the only thing lacking is “permission” for them to destroy the concept of marriage and family as defined by Christian principles. It seems to me that the only thing they really seek is to FORCE everyone to see things from their prospective and accept their choices no matter what anyone else believes. If they want others to respect them, then maybe they need to show some respect and tolerance toward others…just a thought!

Well, actually, gay people don’t have the right to hold any position they want, and they’re not protected against discrimination in the workplace under federal law or in 29 states.  This is a common misconception among the public, that some nebulous over-arching concept of “discrimination” is banned in the Constitution or generally “in the law.”  It’s not.  It’s only banned for select categories, such as race, religion, and national origin.

And there is no federal law protecting gays against housing discrimination, nor do most state laws provide such protections. So, perhaps you’d like to do some research next time before spouting off against people you hate for reasons that aren’t even true.

Just a thought!

Fortunately, the letters weren’t all bad:

I thought there was no hope for the media in this country but you have just shown what journalistic integrity is all about. The major papers and news channels should take their lessons from you.

Even among the worst hate, there is hope.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

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  • wmforr

    Because it will be a “historic” event.

  • wmforr

    If the wife actually had a lover, the British considered that the husband hiring a hooker was the “gallant” thing to do, so as not to besmirch his wife’s name. cf. one of Evelyn Waugh’s novels, Vile Bodies, I believe. The one where he ends up in the Brazilian jungle reading Dickens aloud.

  • wmforr

    But more specifically, “That girl in the office can suck a ping-pong ball through a 75-foot garden hose.”

    I think that was the reason listed in the Newtster’s divorce papers.

  • UncleBucky

    It’s always the crinkle of the plastic furniture covers and the moldy Wonder Bread….

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    What they do to iceberg lettace is unnatural!

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Remember the cousins!

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Thank you!

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    And NO glitter!

  • http://twitter.com/BillFromDover Bill from Dover

    … that they keep warm in the barn for that special occasion?

  • http://twitter.com/BillFromDover Bill from Dover

    Unless it is between two brothers or sisters?

    Then what?

  • http://twitter.com/BillFromDover Bill from Dover

    “or marrying a turtle.”

    Mitch?

  • http://twitter.com/BillFromDover Bill from Dover

    Nah, it’s the two fags that just united half a continent away that just shook the foundation of their marriage.

    After all, their breed is already developing ant-like antenna to receive the world-wide hetro-marriage destroying signals.

    I believe it has something to do with both junk DNA and junk humans.

  • http://twitter.com/BillFromDover Bill from Dover

    Just stay away from pink… no problems.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Exactly.

  • Stev84

    Many people don’t know the difference between a wedding and a marriage. You can have either one without the other.

  • Stev84

    According to Yaweh, seafood (or rather shellfish) itself is an abomination

  • AFV

    Inbreeding in Mississippi is fine but same sex marriage isn’t…

  • gamelan9

    Or that they have a “newspaper,” probably delivered by a goat.

  • Buford

    That’s the foundation of the Christian Conservative mindset… to mingle faith and public policy to prevent people from doing things that they, themselves, would never do and which don’t affect them in any way when others do them. Then, they scream ‘religious intolerance’ when people refuse to be subjected to the faith-based rules they attempt to codify.

  • gamelan9

    How about including the “un”happy couple’s photograph, just to be fair.

  • Buford

    Four words for that letter-writing loon who thinks gays are already equal under the law… ‘United States v. Windsor’.

  • Raging Leftie

    A brilliant article, the hateful letter from a local is a simple display of ignorance. Saying that gay people have every right that straight people have is a lie. Gay people may not be openly discriminated against but society is set up for straight people, they have the advantage. If gay people want to marry – let them, personally I can’t see why anyone would want to get married but when people say that gay people are destroying a ‘sacred’ Christian institution, well it makes me wish everyone would.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    This is what I meant when I said the other day that ‘legal recognition’ is not what makes a marriage, or for husbands or wives.

    The state of Mississippi does not recognize the legality of this marriage. The Federal gov’t doesn’t either. There’s a good chance a majority of people living near this couple do not agree that they have anything like a ‘real’ marriage.

    Nevertheless, it is real, and it will remain a real marriage unless or until those two women say it’s not.

  • Badgerite

    Marriage, as a civic institution, that is under the auspices of the state, not any church, is not about ‘the concept of marriage and family as defined by Christian principles.’ Atheists get married. Buddhists get married. Muslims get married. Jews get married. Druids get married. Christian marriages are recognized, LIKE EVERYBODY ELSES. They are not the bedrock of the civic institution of marriage. No one is proposing that the state in any way interfere with a Christian’s right to marry. No one is telling them that they cannot marry whomever they want to marry. But they are telling the rest of society that a gay person cannot marry because they will be denied the right to marry the person they love. And these relationships in no way resemble incest, pedophilia, bigamy or marrying a turtle.

  • Jameika

    Personally, I liked the bit of the article on page two under the title “Seeds of Discontent” where the writer quotes Monty Python.

    Cool article by the owner, but I think they need an editor. The guy doesn’t, evidently, know the difference between “then” and “than” which makes no sense to me at all. Those words make very different sounds to me, but maybe they’re close in Mississippian.

  • nicho

    Actually, Red Lobster is pretty dibolical. What they do to seafood is an abomination.

  • tedhayes

    “Will we see articles featuring traditional families and Christian family values featured on the the front page soon?”

    Maybe, when this letter writer begins to live the values he claims to uphold, there will be features on the front pages of newspapers.

  • http://fighttherightwingnuts.blogspot.com/ mike31c

    Surprised about mississippi bigots freaking out over a newspaper coverage of a gay wedding? Hell, I am shocked these backwards people can read in the first place!

  • UncleBucky

    Yes, good. Those are some other reasons or excuses that hets will never think of for the reason their marriage failed. For them, their rhetoric will be the two husbands across the street watching their little kid ride a tricycle on the sidewalk.

  • UncleBucky

    Haha, no not at all. I might have been unclear or distracted. This list would be the “excuses” that the thumpers would never seem to think of why their marriages got into trouble or into divorce. Their rhetoric will be that the two guys sipping mojitos across the street on the porch caused the het split. ;o)

  • Dakotahgeo

    Sounds like the two-toothed bigots are already in agony, heh heh heh. Life can be a real b*I*ch to the underdogs.

  • Dakotahgeo

    Now, now, Mike… to be fair, maybe they CAN’T read! Education has its pluses, y’know!

  • Dakotahgeo

    Wellll, looking at the map of the USA, it appears that Misssisssipppppi (sic) is actually the backwash swampland that Arkansas didn’t want, soooo… what’s the big deal? Too bad a same sex marriage has to invite and introduce Mississssiiiippi (sic) to the 21st century but hey… someone HAD to do it, right? Don’t let the bright light of the sun melt your spectacles, folks!

  • http://twitter.com/iambobbybear bobbybear.i.am

    I saw this last week and immediately started an online subscription. Most satisfying $20 I ever spent.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    I would add plastic furniture covers and moldy Wonder Bread.

  • PeteWa

    I wonder if that paper also endorses, through advertising revenue, that celebration of abominations against god known as Red Lobster.

  • mirror

    I think I liked the editorial you didn’t quote better, (on page A4), pointing out first that in a better world this wedding wouldn’t be considered front page worthy because there would be nothing out of the ordinary about it. Then, he addresses the Christian bigots’ bad sales pitch. “The people you are trying to reach aren’t seeing the love of Jesus shine through your spit and venom.”

  • Joneses

    My grandfather, a black man, grew up in Louisiana in the 1930s and he use to tell us horrid stories. People who claim to believe in GOD, Bible, can be so inhuman and still invoke the Lord is mind boggling. With Christians like them who needs the devil.

  • Mike_in_Houston

    That is one hell of a classy response from the editor. Not that the ignoramuses (ignorami?) who prompted his response will pay attention to it, if indeed they even read it…

  • nicho

    Of course, many people still think that African-Americans have special rights too.

  • nicho

    In most places, all they need to say is “irreconcilable differences. ” It used to be different. In Massachusetts, for example, The only grounds for divorce used to be adultery. So if a couple wanted to get divorced, one of them had to get “caught” in an adulterous situation. Usually, the husband would rent a hooker and go to a cheap motel room, and the wife would hire a “private investigator.” Or they would just go to court and lie.

  • Butch1

    Until they recognize gay marriages in that state; yes.

  • perljammer

    Please tell me you don’t think this list is particular to straight marriages only.

  • SkippyFlipjack

    I hate it that the guy down the street repainted his car in a tacky two-tone paint job. He destroyed the institution of automotive paint jobs. My car will never be the same again.

  • OtterQueen

    Lying? Alcoholism? Drug use? Indifference?

  • OtterQueen

    “…and accept their choices no matter what anyone else believes.” So this person is butthurt because others may make choices he disagrees with, choices that do not affect him, and he is expected to accept that.

    This person is in for a rough existence.

  • UncleBucky

    They oughta start publishing het divorces. And then let some investigative reporters find out JUST WHY.
    * Wife beating
    * Cheating
    * Husband beating (to be fair here)
    * Thieving
    * Lack of love
    * Gossiping
    * Lack of support or contribution to the financial part of “marriage”
    * Relatives interfering
    * Neighbhors interfering
    * Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders

    Let’s see? Anything else?

  • caphillprof

    John, as you sort of note, one of our biggest problems is that many people believe gay people have rights or protections that we simply do not have. Powers of attorney, medical directives, health care agencies and even wills are not always followed or enforced. Marriages clears out the cobwebs and many of the stumbling blocks.

  • nicho

    Anything that gets a Fundie’s knickers in a knot is a good thing.

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