N.J. paper rues hasty apology on gay announcement

N.J. paper rues hasty apology on gay announcement

(Editor’s note: for The Chronicle’s views on this subject, go to the Opinion section to read the Oct. 7 editorial.)

NEW YORK — After expressing regret for publishing a gay wedding announcement, the New Jersey Jewish Standard says it now regrets the hasty apology.

The Jewish weekly’s publication Sept. 24 of the announcement of the nuptials of a gay couple sparked outrage among some local Orthodox rabbis, prompting the Teaneck-based paper to apologize a week later for the announcement and pledge not to run such announcements in the future.

But following a backlash online and from other local community members for the hasty backtracking on the gay issue, the Jewish Standard decided to reverse course again.

“We ran the wedding announcement because we felt, as a community newspaper, that it was our job to serve the entire community — something we have been doing for 80 years,” publisher James Janoff wrote in a statement printed this week in his newspaper. “We did not expect the heated response we got, and — in truth — we believe now that we may have acted too quickly in issuing the follow-up statement, responding only to one segment of the community.”

Janoff said the newspaper is meeting with other local rabbis and community leaders, and that the newspaper would publish many of the letters prompted by the controversy. He did not say definitively whether or not the paper would publish gay wedding announcements in the future.

“We urge everyone to take a step back and reflect on what this series of events has taught us about the community we care so much about, and about the steps we must take to move forward together,” the publisher’s statement concluded.