Op/eds from National Organization for Marriage or others need not applyPhoto credit: Fibonacci Blue (CC-By-2.0)
Op/eds from National Organization for Marriage or others need not apply
Photo credit: Fibonacci Blue (CC-By-2.0)

The Patriot News/PennLive just announced Friday that they are restricting letters to the editor and op/eds in opposition to same-sex marriage because of the Supreme Court’s ruling:

As a result of Friday’s ruling, PennLive/The Patriot-News will very strictly limit op-Eds and letters to the editor in opposition to same-sex marriage.

These unions are now the law of the land. And we will not publish such letters and op-Eds any more than we would publish those that are racist, sexist or anti-Semitic.

We will, however, for a limited time, accept letters and op-Eds on the high court’s decision and its legal merits.

The march of progress is often slow, but it is always steady.

On Friday, the United States took another step toward the ideal of equality envisioned by its founders. And we are all more free as a result.

We are more free as a result unless you disagree with the ruling.  In that case shut up.  This newspaper would never tolerate the government coming to tell them they had to restrict what they said in their editorials.  Granted they have the right to do this if they like.  I just find it ironic.  I suspect we’ll see more of this in the days to come.  I’m just surprised they were forthright about it.

Update: Because of push back received on the original picture using the word “censorship” I have decided to replace it since that wasn’t the point the article was making to begin with and I didn’t even use the word censorship in the text of the article (until this update that is).  I was trying to find a picture with a Creative Commons license that worked with this article.  The word censorship does have a broader meaning than just a government agency doing it (for instance there can be self-censorship) but that really wasn’t a debate I wanted to have.  The newspaper said they were restricting letters to the editor and op/eds that oppose same sex marriage.  Their words, not mine, and again as I said earlier they have a right to do it.  I just disagree with their policy as applied to opposition to same sex marriage.

2nd Update: John Micek, the editorials and opinion editor for PennLive/The Patriot News, clarified what he meant and apologized (ish).

More than once yesterday I was referred to as “f****t-lover,” among other slurs. And that’s the point that I was trying to make with our statement: We will not publish such slurs any more than we would publish racist, sexist or anti-Semitic speech. There are ways to intelligently discuss an issue. The use of playground insults is not among them. And they are not welcome at PennLive/The Patriot-News.

Ok, but that isn’t what he wrote.  I agree with that policy, but he wrote was this “As a result of Friday’s ruling, PennLive/The Patriot-News will very strictly limit op-Eds and letters to the editor in opposition to same-sex marriage.”

If he wanted to make it clear just insults and slurs were not going to be published no problem… He insinuates those were the only types of responses that he received and I highly, highly doubt that.  Words have meanings, I mean to the Supreme Court they don’t evidently, but to the rest of us they do.  He also wrote in his editorial on Friday, “These unions are now the law of the land. And we will not publish such letters and op-Eds any more than we would publish those that are racist, sexist or anti-Semitic.”  Again no mention of just letters and op-Eds that are using slurs.

Is it really that hard to understand that people thought, and I believe what he really meant until he experienced a huge backlash, all letters and op-Eds in the near future were going to be restricted.  That’s what we thought because that is what he said.

He continues:

I fully recognize that there are people of good conscience and of goodwill who will disagree with Friday’s high court ruling. They include philosophers and men and women of the cloth whose objections come from deeply held religious and moral convictions that are protected by the very same First Amendment that allowed me to stick my foot in my mouth on Friday. They are, and always will be, welcome in these pages, along with all others of goodwill, who seek to have an intelligent and reasoned debate on the issues of the day.

He would have been much better off saying that, and frankly Mr. Micek these are the people who make up most of the opposition to same-sex marriage.

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