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Journal, Inc. Board Meets, Discusses CEO’s Ban on Publication of Same-Sex Wedding Announcements

Members of the Journal, Inc. Board of Directors did not reach an agreement at a regular board meeting Thursday on how to handle Journal, Inc. CEO Clay Foster’s decision to ban the publication of same-sex wedding announcements in the North Mississippi Daily Journal and its affiliate weekly newspapers following the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision to legalize gay marriage.

Clay Foster
Clay Foster

The Huffington Post reports that two days before writing a column condemning the Supreme Court’s ruling, Foster – a Church of Christ lay minister – held a meeting with the company’s top leaders to inform them of a policy to not accept same-sex wedding announcements for publication. The article also reports that Foster sent an internal email to the company’s weekly publications prohibiting them from writing editorial positions independent of the company’s position on the matter.

CREATE Foundation President Mike Clayborne said that CREATE “holds the stock of the Journal,” and that he was unaware of Journal, Inc.’s new policy until after Foster’s announcement.

Mike Clayborne
Mike Clayborne

“This was a management decision and not a board policy,” Clayborne said in an email. “There is a separate board and management team for the Journal. CREATE relies on the Journal board to set policy for the Journal.”

Clayborne also added that all policies at CREATE are the same regardless of race, religion, creed or sexual orientation.

According to Journal, Inc. Board Lead Director Aubrey Patterson, the Board has decided to take under advisement all matters pertaining to the issue and will review and discuss all of the ramifications of the issue over the next 10 days.

Aubrey Patterson
Aubrey Patterson

“We will look at all of the pertinent issues and come forth with a rational and thoughtful, community-centered, review,” he said.

Several members of the Board of CREATE also serve on the Journal, Inc. Board. Currently, Foster serves as Chairman of the Journal, Inc. Board while Patterson, a distinguished former banker and chair of the Board of Institutions of Higher Learning, represents outside board members.

HottyToddy.com Staff Report

Photos courtesy CREATE Foundation 

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