Denver Post explains why it ran page one same-sex kiss photo

Craig F. Walker/Denver Post

Craig F. Walker/Denver Post

“As editors, it’s often our job to make difficult decisions,” writes Denver Post director of newsroom operations Linda Shapley. “We were faced with one on Tuesday, with the above photo,” which shows House Speaker Mark Ferrandino kissing his partner goodbye after the passage of a bill that allows gay couples to form civil unions in Colorado.

“We all knew there would likely be a negative reaction to running the picture of Ferrandino,” Shapley tells readers. “The civil unions vote was historic for Colorado and celebrating it was not a surprise. That led one editor to note, ‘We have no issues showing a straight couple kissing on election night.'”

* Mark Ferrandino kiss photo shows truth, even if it offends (
* “Not what I needed to see on my front page today. Gross” and more comments from the Post’s Facebook page

UPDATE — Shapley tells Romenesko readers: “We’ve received a fairly steady stream of calls, and a few emails and letters — more than 50 for sure, but I haven’t received a number from our Op-Ed Department. Nearly all have been negative. Interestingly, the comments on the blog have all been positive, save for my less-than-ideal word choice [in the first-version headline]. Different audiences, obviously.”

Her first headline read, “Mark Ferrandino kiss photo shows truth, no matter how objectionable.” She changed it to “…even if it offends.”