California, Here We Come: Times Celebrates Gay Marriage

The Times takes every angle in support of a controversial California Supreme Court ruling, even pondering whether the newly legal gay marriage will benefit the state's economy.

Gays across the country began to celebrate wedding vows in California in the wake of a controversial ruling in May by that state's Supreme Court establishing a right to same-sex marriage in California. While opponents of gay marriage have sponsored a ballot initiative to overturn the ruling by defining marriage solely as between a man and a woman, the paper's coverage was predominantly glowing and positive, with pictures of happy couples (complete with a gay-wedding slide-show. The decision was also strongly supported by the editorial page.

While a couple of stories, including Jesse McKinley's "A Poll Finds Californians Still Oppose Gay Marriage," emphasized opposition to the legalization of gay marriage, the Times' overall tone was celebratory.

Patricia Leigh Brown's June 14 "California Braces for 'New Summer of Love'" actually argued that the influx of gay marriage would be good for the state's economy:

Faced with a wilted economy, water shortages and sticker shock at the gasoline pump, many California businesses are welcoming "the dinks" (double income, no kids) with open arms.

There was some melodrama in "Blessings and Anguish For Pastors in California" by Laurie Goodstein.

Some clergy members in California spent Tuesday officiating at same-sex weddings made legal by a State Supreme Court ruling that took effect on Monday night. Others spent the day speaking out against same-sex marriage.

And there were those who spent the day in anguish, torn between the laws of their state and the laws of their church.

By contrast, Jesse McKinley found a "Sense of Calm As Gay Couples Wed Legally In California." The day before, McKinley had written under a headline that trumpeted "A Landmark Day in California as Same-Sex Marriages Begin to Take Hold." The story was teased with a front-page photo of two lesbians who'd been together for 50 years.

Gay marriage even made the front of the paper's Wednesday food section in a report by Kim Severson, "Saying 'I Do,' Making History, Planning a Party." Severson, a member of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association, wrote about her own conflict over whether to get married in California for the Times back on May 18.