June 16, 2008

Today's Front Pages Analysis

Calif. papers focus on local couples as same-sex marriages begin

We wondered how many California newspapers would play up the story that same-sex marriages will start for real and legally this afternoon in the Golden State. Of the 30 front pages on our Web site early this morning, an even dozen played up what was going to happen this afternoon, not just teasing to an inside story. Many found a local angle to bring the issue closer to home.

The Daily Breeze in Torrance reported “Couples get ready for gay weddings,” adding in a drop headline that “Two Torrance men will join the rush to exchange vows when licenses are issued this week,” while The Herald in Monterey says that “Gay couples wrestle with ambivalence” and The Modesto Bee leads with “Taking sides on same-sex marriage,” adding that “Modesto church leaders, others look at law in terms of faith and societal effect.”

The North County Times in Escondido reports about “a love story in Carlsbad,” noting that “Couple say marriage is obvious next step,” while The Press Democrat in Santa Rosa has a couple of Page One photos and a story about “Getting ready to wed” and The Press-Enterprise in Riverside says “Same-sex couples eager to say ‘We’re married.’” The Press-Telegram in Long Beach squares off “Gay couples hope vows are forever” and The San Diego Union-Tribune reports on “Quiet reflection on wedding issue,” while the San Francisco Chronicle squares off “Wedding bells to ring in a new era.” The Daily Journal in San Mateo reports, with photo, about a “Couple among the first to ‘be part of history,’” and the Ventura County Star tells its readers that “Same-sex couples plan Tuesday weddings.”

The Examiner in San Francisco wins today’s prize with a photo of holding hands in front of city hall taking up most of the tabloid front page and the words “History awaits at 5:01,” adding that “The same-sex marriage movement hits pinnacle as legal nuptials begin tonight at City Hall.”

Gene Mater is a Freedom Forum media consultant.

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