I was disappointed and a bit offended to see the Daily’s front page yesterday. While I was excited to see that it covered Saturday’s Equality March, the picture-less story was pushed into a corner and greatly overshadowed by the gigantic photo of two students’ engagement on a University bus. I’m happy for those students and in no way criticizing them, but the overall message the Daily sent was insensitive: Straight marriage matters more than gay marriage.
Saturday’s march included more than 400 people and was part of a national event that received ample news coverage on CNN and other networks (and other papers, for that matter). What does it say about the challenges facing our cause, then, that the Daily was more interested in the personal (albeit adorable) lives of only two students, as opposed to an issue impacting millions?
In the future, please give a little more thought to the messages you send to your readers.
School of Social Work
When I picked up a copy of the Daily yesterday, as I do every morning, I saw a photo of a couple who were lucky enough to become engaged on a University bus this past weekend. I also scanned down the front page, looking to see if there was any coverage of the powerful protest attended by 400 people on Saturday. At first, I didn’t notice the Daily’s news story because it was so small, but I caught glimpse of the article in the bottom left corner (Hundreds rally on A2 streets against Prop 8, 11/17/2008).
While I appreciate that the protest was covered, I feel that it wasn’t given the attention it deserved. Hundreds of students, faculty and staff played part in something much larger than Michigan — something that made national news with tens of thousands of people simultaneously protesting across the country. No doubt, it was also a monumental day for the couple in the Daily’s feature photo to have their friends with them as they made a life-long commitment to each other, and I’m very happy for them. Sadly, I can’t help but feel resentment that they were celebrating their engagement while I, along with many others across the nation, was struggling for the right to be engaged at all.
I wonder if you know what it’s like waking up each morning and seeing the excitement of people who have experienced something that I’m not given the opportunity to do. I don’t know if you know what it is like to be asked to speak at your parents’ 25th wedding anniversary and having to back out at the last minute because everything you try to say just sounds bitter, and then seeing the disappointment in their eyes when you tell them that you just can’t do it. And I can’t help but ask myself if you even thought about the fact that there was a huge picture of the exact thing we are fighting for, overshadowing my small and seemingly unimportant protest.
My hope from this letter is that in the future, the Daily will think about it and realize that until all are equal, none are equal. Oh, and by the way, happy Transgender Awareness Week.
The letter writer is the chief of staff of the Michigan Student Assembly.
I’m writing in response to the Daily’s front page yesterday. As someone who braved the rain Saturday to fight for equality, I was angered when I read the Daily. In the aftermath of four ballot initiatives written and passed to limit the rights of the gay community, millions of people nationwide stood up for equal rights. A crowd of almost 400 students, faculty, staff and community members gathered to peacefully march from the post office to the Diag. When I first read the Daily I was excited to see that it had covered the rally. However, the issues of the LGBT community have again been overshadowed on this campus. Today, it wasn’t by the latest football news or the other events occurring on campus, but by a wedding engagement story.
Don’t get me wrong, I am very happy for the couple featured in the Daily’s feature photo yesterday and wish them both the best. However, does this story really affect our campus? What does the engagement of two students do to enrich the lives of the rest of us? Instead of highlighting the multitude of important campus happenings from the weekend, the Daily made this “story” the spectacle of yesterday’s paper. As a newspaper that is supposed to be a reputable source of information for students, I’m concerned with the Daily’s prioritization.
The gay community just recently had its rights attacked again, and is still unable to marry in all but two states. Instead of celebrating the efforts of a significant number of University-affiliated people to gain equality, the Daily celebrated one more heterosexual engagement. As a student of this University, I am angered but hopeful: I look forward to the day that a celebration of two men or two women’s engagement will highlight the front page.
First, I want to thank the Daily for its news story yesterday on the rally Saturday protesting the passage of a same-sex marriage ban in California (Hundreds rally on A2 streets against Prop 8, 11/17/2008). My thanks, however, can’t go further than this.
As a participant at the rally, I can’t emphasize enough the mischaracterization of the rally as simply a gay rights rally in which gay activists took to the Ann Arbor streets. I was a participant in the event, and I saw who was there. The rally’s guiding motivation was equality. I saw gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and straight allies from a diverse array of backgrounds come together to stand in support of equality. There were also roughly 400 people who attended the event, not the 250 mentioned in the article.
Furthermore, the Daily’s juxtaposition of this story about the rally with a feature photo depicting a two heterosexual students’ engagement was somewhat insulting and careless. How can there be one article dealing with those who stand against the inequality perpetuated in our society regarding marriage and another article completely re-inscribing that inequality onto the front page of my school newspaper?
I have no qualms with the prospective partners; I wish them the best. How lucky for those two, but how unfortunate for the millions of persons who can’t get married because of legal inequality. How unfortunate for the millions who are not affirmed by this society. I would only hope that my school newspaper would be more attentive to the awful actualities of the society in which we live, rather then re-enact them on its front pages.