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Newspapers take notice of gay marriage announcements.

Byline: From Register-Guard and news service reports

SAN FRANCISCO - When Zandra Rolon and Lori Rogers seized the opportunity for gay couples to marry in San Francisco and exchanged vows last week, they didn't just tell their friends about it. They put it in the local paper.

``People don't have much exposure to same-sex marriages, and I think we should have an equal right not only to publicly celebrate, but also to publicly announce,'' said Rolon, a chiropractor from Watsonville.

Newspapers in this city and beyond are grappling with how to deal with announcements from some of the more than 3,300 same-sex weddings that have been held in the past two weeks.

In the past few years, an increasing number of newspapers around the country have been running announcements of gay commitment ceremonies and civil unions.

But the San Francisco weddings led some newspapers to rethink things.

At the Santa Cruz Sentinel, which has been publishing same-sex unions for about 15 years, the burst of weddings in San Francisco prompted a change: ``Now these go under `weddings' instead of `celebrations,' '' editor Tom Honig said.

Gay marriages - including Rolon and Rogers' - made up half of all the marriage announcements in Sunday's paper, Honig said.

He said there has been little response to the announcements in the liberal Northern California community, though one reader did accuse the paper of moving the gay marriages above the straight ones.

But Honig said: ``There just aren't that many weddings going on this month. We put them all in, in no particular order.''

At The New York Times, however, editors placed a story about gay marriage at the top of its weddings and celebrations Sunday section, and included an announcement by two Los Angeles doctors - surgeon Helen Cooksey and breast cancer researcher and author Susan Love.

The newspaper has been running gay commitment ceremonies for years.

The Register-Guard publishes wedding announcements for couples who hold a marriage license recognized as a legal document in Lane County. However, the newspaper is reviewing its policy.

As of this month, 223 newspapers around the country either run same-sex union announcements or say they would be willing to do so if asked by a local resident.
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Title Annotation:General News
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Feb 28, 2004
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