After the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling on same-sex marriage Friday, PennLive/The Patriot-News’ editorial board announced they would “no longer accept, nor will [they] print, op-Eds and letters to the editor in opposition to same-sex marriage,” sparking even more debate.
The editorial board wrote a piece on Friday – entitled “The Supremes got it right – It’s no longer ‘gay marriage.’ It’s ‘marriage.’ And we’re better for it.” – in which they laud the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the constitutionality of gay marriage bans across the country.
“[Supreme Court Justice Anthony] Kennedy nailed it. There are no rights more fundamental than due process and equal treatment under the law,” the piece states. “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.”
Many readers and conservative news outlets criticized the move, including Fox News, prompting a bit of backtracking from PennLive.
“We will, however, for a limited time, accept letters and op-Eds on the high court’s decision and its legal merits,” Opinions page editor John L. Micek wrote later on Friday.
“This apparently did not satisfy readers, who posted a cascade of critical comments online,” Fox News.com wrote of the situation. “One read: ‘Clearly, PennLive’s policy is not to limit criticism of settled law, but rather to limit criticism of settled law that its editor likes.”
On Saturday, Micek wrote another column apologizing for the misunderstanding of the editorial board’s message.
“As the comments on our main story about the ruling — many of them openly hostile — began to pile up, I decided I wanted to send the strongest possible message that the Opinion pages of PennLive and The Patriot-News would be space for civil discussion of one of the most important civil rights rulings of our lifetime,” Micek wrote.
“More than once yesterday I was referred to as “f****t-lover,” among other slurs,” Micek continued. “And that’s the point that I was trying to make with our statement.”
PennLive’s opinion pages will remain open for civil discussion and “intelligent and reasoned debate on the issues of the day.”