After Aaron and Shaun were married, they decided to publish their wedding announcement in the papers of the towns where they grew up. When Shaun didn’t hear back from his hometown paper for several weeks, he called to inquire about the announcement and was told the paper would not be publishing it because he and Aaron were a same-sex couple.
Shaun ultimately felt rejected by the community he loved, simply for loving Aaron, and because there are no statewide protections in Missouri for LGBTQ people, he was not able to take recourse.
“Living in Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin, I’ve always been protected,” Shaun said. “But when we go home, a business like this can say ‘we won’t serve you’ — or, if we wanted to stay overnight, we could get kicked out of our hotel for being gay. We want to get the word out about that.”
Ultimately, after significant public pressure, the newspaper did publish Shaun and Aaron’s marriage announcement, just as it should for any other couple.