Ad Depicting Lesbian Couple Rejected, Then Welcomed, By Weddings Unveiled Magazine
Oh, hurray! A story with a not-horrible ending!
Here goes: photographer Anne Almasy purchased a print advertisement for a magazine called Weddings Unveiled. It was the first-ever print ad that she had ever purchased and she was pretty excited. So it really sucked when, on Valentine’s Day, the editor of Weddings Unveiled called to say they didn’t “feel comfortable” publishing an ad depicting a same-sex couple (partially displayed above). The editor asked if Almasy had another photograph she would prefer to use; she didn’t. The editor then said it was good that they hadn’t run her credit card yet to charge her for the ad.
In a post on her blog, an “open letter,” to the magazine, Almasy expressed frustration that her beautiful black-and-white image of two brides kissing — which is quite sweet — was rejected. She wrote:
I don’t shoot gay weddings or straight weddings, Christian weddings or Jewish weddings, good weddings or bad weddings. I photograph PEOPLE on their wedding day.
I’m shaking because I’m so angry. I’m shaking because I’m so hurt. I’m shaking because I was so, so naive.
Are there people who might have been offended or put off by this ad? I’m sure there are. But this ad wasn’t for them. This ad was for people who love black and white photography; this ad was for people who love a portrait taken in a warehouse stacked with bags of coffee beans; this ad was for people who love big puffy dresses; this ad was for people who love love.
And then something amazing happened: the magazine changed their mind. The publishers of Weddings Unveiled printed a public apology saying that it is not their personal belief that gays should not have the right to marry, but they were worried about offending people who do hold those beliefs. “We are so sorry that we acted out of fear and uncertainty,” they wrote. “We love all people and would never want to anger, offend or disappoint anyone. We are deeply moved by the outpouring of love and support for Anne. We are so sorry that we have disappointed you and we ask for your forgiveness.”
The publishers then said of Almasy still wanted to run her advertisement featuring a same-sex couple, they would be “proud” to publish it.
I’m proud that Anne Almasy — a heterosexual woman who has proven to be a great ally — stook to her guns. And it shows great humility on the part of the magazine’s publishers to apologize and admit they were wrong. If only more bigoted nonsense in the world today could be solved as cleanly as this.
[Photo: Anne Almasy]