Why Greensboro News & Record is silent on Amendment One

North Carolina’s anti-gay marriage Amendment One goes to voters on May 8. Everyone from Billy Graham to Chelsea Clinton has weighed in on it.

So where does the News & Record in Greensboro stand on this controversial measure?

It hasn’t said.

Multiple sources tell me that’s because socially conservative publisher Robin Saul has banned editorials on “moral issues,” including this upcoming referendum.

This is the email I sent to Saul and editorial page editor Allen Johnson III:

Good afternoon Robin and Allen,

One of my readers sent this email:

“I would be grateful if you could get publisher Robin Saul on the record regarding whether he has banned editorials on ‘moral issues,’ including but not limited to the upcoming referendum on Amendment One, which would add a ban on all civil unions besides heterosexual marriage to North Carolina’s constitution.”

I’d appreciate a response to this.

Johnson sent this reply:

Jim, thanks for your note.

Here’s an official statement:

The News & Record editorial board could not come to a consensus on the marriage amendment issue. Therefore, we’ve elected not to officially support or oppose it. We’ll leave this highly personal decision to individual voters.

Robin Saul

Note that the statement does not address the alleged “moral issues” ban.

Ed Cone points out today that the News & Record and its predecessors “have a proud history of speaking up for civil rights. The late Bill Snider, an editorial legend in this state and the finest of Southern gentlemen, endured a cross burning and other vandalism to his home as he stood up for then-controversial ideals just decades ago.

“And now, silence” on Amendment One.

* A deafening silence on Market Street