A Pennsylvania publication that announced Friday they were banning nearly all columns that support traditional marriage has issued an apology over their decision.
Last Friday, the editorial board of the media group overseeing Pennlive.com and The Patriot-News announced that they were going to "very strictly limit op-eds and letters to the editor in opposition to same-sex marriage."
However in response to a barrage of phone calls and emails protesting their decision, Pennlive.com and Patriot-News issued an apology.
John L. Micek, editorial and opinions editor for the two news sources, published a piece within a day of the announcement apologizing for the attempted censorship.
"I fully recognize that there are people of good conscience and of goodwill who will disagree with Friday's high court ruling," wrote Micek.
"They are, and always will be, welcome in these pages, along with all others of goodwill, who seek to have an intelligent and reasoned debate on the issues of the day."
Last Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in Obergefell v. Hodges that state level bans on gay marriage violated the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution.
Justice Anthony Kennedy, author of the majority opinion, wrote that while the majority considered gay marriage a constitutional right, criticism of homosexuality was still acceptable.
"Finally, it must be emphasized that religions, and those who adhere to religious doctrines, may continue to advocate with utmost, sincere conviction that, by divine precepts, same-sex marriage should not be condoned," wrote Kennedy.
"The First Amendment ensures that religious organizations and persons are given proper protection as they seek to teach the principles that are so fulfilling and so central to their lives and faiths, and to their own deep aspirations to continue the family structure they have long revered. The same is true of those who oppose same-sex marriage for other reasons."
Within hours of the decision being released, the editorial board at Pennlive and Patriot-News announced that "this news organization now crosses another threshold."
"As a result of Friday's ruling, PennLive/The Patriot-News will very strictly limit op-eds and letters to the editor in opposition to same-sex marriage," stated the board on Friday.
"These unions are now the law of the land. And we will not publish such letters and op-eds any more than we would publish those that are racist, sexist or anti-Semitic."
According to Micek, the response to the editorial decision was immediate and intense, with "dozens of emails," "several phone calls," and "hundreds of comments appended to the editorial," many of them vicious.
"My mom — and probably yours too — once told me what the road to hell was paved with. Yesterday, I was reminded of the truth of that lesson," wrote Micek.
"I stand with my gay and lesbian friends who, on Friday, were extended the same protections under the law that the rest of us take for granted. But for those of you who were offended by what was intended as a very genuine attempt at fostering a civil discussion, I apologize."