The Editor of the Bristol Post has revealed that they lost thousands of sales of the paper after publishing a photograph of a newly married gay couple on the front page of the paper.
Mike Norton has appealed to the paper’s readership to give feedback following his publication on the front page of a picture portraying the wedding of local couple Mike McBeth and Matthew Symonds.
“…at the risk of attracting every troll in the vicinity – I’ve decided to ask the internet.” Mike appealed – “I want to hear from the people who didn’t buy the paper because of that picture. Tell me why. I ask only that you are reasoned and honest. But I want to start a dialogue and genuinely understand why the picture put you off.”
Although there appears to have been a drop in readership, there was very little in the way of official complaints “I’m a Bristolian, brought up in South Bristol. Real Bristol. One of the things I love about my home town is how characterful, tolerant and non-conformist its people are. So I thought Bristol was ready for that picture. But, boy, was I wrong. We lost thousands of sales of the paper. Which surprised me. Because, on the day, we received just nine phone calls of complaint.”
Mike & Matthew who live in the Southville area of Bristol became the first LGBT couple to have an official same-sex marriage ceremony at the Bristol Register Office. Posing for both the assembled media and wedding guests, their friends unfolded a banner behind them in rainbow colours and with the words, “Just Married”. The picture appeared in many media publications and websites, including the Bristol based daily newspaper.
Mike, a lecturer at Bath Spa University, and Matthew, who works for the Canal and River Trust, met 20 years ago due to their involvement with the Labour Party.