Fargo Forum Refuses to Print Same Sex Marriage Announcement
It is with happy hearts that we are able to officially announce our marriage to one another.
Allison Johnson & Kelsey Smith will be getting married in New York City on August 1, 2012. A reception for our loving family and friends will be held on August 4, 2012 in Fargo, ND.
Allison Johnson, daughter of Vicki Maurer, Jeff Maurer and Russell Johnson, is from Austin, TX and currently represents Staples Advantage as the Business Sales Consultant for North Dakota. Kelsey Smith, daughter of Bryon & Joni Smith, is a Fargo, ND native and contracts for AllOver Media, located in Maple Grove, MN.
Together, we are so thrilled to be able to have a formal announcement published and look forward to a lifetime of happiness, hopefully reading similar wedding announcements for same-sex couples in our hometown and across the nation.
PPP Staff Opinion
Art. XI – Section Section 28. Marriage consists only of the legal union between a man and a woman. No other domestic union, however denominated, may be recognized as a marriage or given the same or substantially equivalent legal effect.
In the North Dakota Century Code there is another section defining marriage:
- North Dakota Century Code – Title 14 Domestic Relations and Persons
Section 14-03-01. What constitutes marriage – Spouse defined. Marriage is a personal relation arising out of a civil contract between one man and one woman to which the consent of the parties is essential. The marriage relation may be entered into, maintained, annulled, or dissolved only as provided by law. A spouse refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife.
Section 14-03-08. Foreign marriages recognized – Exception. Except when residents of this state contract a marriage in another state which is prohibited under the laws of this state, all marriages contracted outside this state, which are valid according to the laws of the state or country where contracted, are valid in this state. This section applies only to a marriage contracted in another state or country which is between one man and one woman as husband and wife.
No marriage license or recognition, no other relationship or its recognition from other jurisdictions for same-sex couples.
Phone: (701) 235-7311 –Fax: (701) 241-5406 (FAX) –Email: email@example.com
When Push comes to Shove: The Forum reviews it’s anti-gay policies.
Other Newscasts and Media Coverage on July 24, 2012
Published July 28, 2012–Forum
For those interested, I did write a letter to the Fargo/Moorhead Bureau as well as the Opinions Editor at the Fargo Forum and the Mayor of Fargo. Here it is!
It is a sad day when two people so in love, about to commit their lives to one another, cannot even engage in the smallest of privileges to honor this union. My name is Allison Johnson and in one week I will be marrying the love of my life, Kelsey Smith. It is with great thought, honor and privilege that I am the one who gets to be the forever partner of such a wonderful person.
We choose to make our home in Fargo, ND because it is a place that we consider welcoming, kind-hearted, genuine and peaceful. It is also a place where we would love to raise our family for the values that we know are sure to be instilled in our children and future generations to come.
As with many marriages, it is an exciting time just one week before vows are to be shared with one another. It is a time when the final details are examined, scrutinized and finalized. It is a time when we are able to confirm all arrivals of loving family and friends that are able to share this memorable day with us. It is also a time when the couple is able to announce officially to the city that they call ‘home’ of their upcoming nuptials with a Marriage Announcement in the local newspaper.
We set aside time to complete the form for a Marriage Announcement to be run in the Fargo Forum, where we excitedly saw a full page of loving couples announcing their special days. We were touched by what we saw and knew that it was something that we wanted to do, if not just for us, for the loving community that we reside in that supports our love and commitment to one another. We sat down together and happily filled out the submission form and submitted payment for $25 so that our ad would be just one of the several to fill this page on Sunday.
And then, this afternoon, I received an email from the Celebrations Editor of the Fargo Forum, Dianna Baumann, letting me know that the Fargo Forum does not print announcements for Same Sex Couples and they will be refunding our $25 payment.
I ask each of you reading this to explain to me WHY, in a city that we call home, where we are days away from becoming homeowners in Fargo, where we support every person that does good for their community, are we excluded from being able to announce our wedding celebration? What makes two women or two men any different from other tax paying married citizens of Fargo, ND?
Why should we accept this? It is an honor to have a Wedding Announcement in the newspaper and we are no different from any other couple that has been published in this section in the past. While we may not make our announcement known in The Forum, I assure you that we will make our voices known in our community, and in every community. The denial of our Announcement being rejected by the editor of the Celebrations section is outright discrimination as she wrote that it is simply because we are a same-sex couple. (Please reference forwarded email below.)
Awareness to the masses will not come from this email that I write to you, I know this. But it can come from what you do with this information. Help me to ensure that EVERY person who calls Fargo ‘home’ feels nothing but acceptance and encouragement from their community. I feel so many emotions about this, none of which should be felt by a bride one week before her wedding day.
Rest assured, I am still marrying Kelsey Smith on August 1st. It is already a great ordeal that we must travel out of state to make our vows to one another official but we are doing it happily. We fight harder every day for the right to love one another openly, without fear of discrimination, and we will continue that battle until our goal has been reached. We are in love. We are committed to one another for the rest of our lives. Together, we want to do good for our community and for the world we live in. Is that really any different from any other couple that you know? I will marry my bride with or without an announcement in the Fargo Forum. While it was only an exciting detail to our marriage, it has now become an issue for the City of Fargo and the state of North Dakota.
Thank you for reading this email. I have a wedding to plan so I shall finish writing to you by asking for your help. Please do not allow discrimination in any form to continue in the city that we all call home.