Idaho Paper Faces Backlash For Placing Gay Engagement Story On Its Front Page
Rexburg, Idaho was named the reddest city in America by Slate.com a few years ago and gave Mitt Romney 93 percent of its vote in the last presidential election. Though it's given up it's "most conservative" title, it seems some residents are doing everything they can to once again wear the crown atop their heads, even if that means letting their raging bigots shine through publicly online.
The city's newspaper, the Rexburg Standard Journal,is unafraid to admit that it's lost at least a few subscribers after running a story of the engagement of a local gay couple on its front page in a recent edition. The story, about the struggles of life in the notoriously conservative city faced by its few brave openly gay residents, ruffled quite a few homophobic feathers, including that of reader Gwen J. Lee, who was so appalled by the existence of gay people in her town that she has refusesd to read local publications.
Her hate-fueled letter to the editor has since gone viral. It reads in part:
I expect the front page of the Standard Journal to be the news of the day, not a social expose on a gay couple’s engagement. The Sept. 14, “Gay and Engaged” front page feature was appalling.
It is not news. Nor is it newsworthy for the front page of our Rexburg, Idaho newspaper. On the very day that Rexburg was crowded with parents from all across the country, here to help their students begin a new semester at BYU-Idaho, what should the front page of our local newspaper contain but an article so inappropriate and out of touch with the high standards of this great city — still celebrating its Centennial. It’s an embarrassment and reeks with ill judgment and poor taste!
You’ve hit an all-time low. Since when is a homosexual relationship front page news in Rexburg, Idaho? I wonder how many advertisers, with their hard-earned money will continue to use the Rexburg Standard Journal.
A big thank you to the Standard Journal for its intrepid front page story and for printing Gwen's letter as justification for why, exactly, LGBT rights in Rexburg are worthy of such status!