Mending Fences?

Mar 1, 2004  •  Post A Comment

Consider the irony in this picture, which appeared on MSNBC.com last week with links to stories about the same-sex marriage ceremonies being performed in San Francisco. The couple, shown on the steps of San Francisco’s City Hall after exchanging marriage vows Feb. 23, are Leah McElrath Renna and Cathy McElrath Renna. Cathy Renna, who was media director for the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, rallied public protest a year ago when MSNBC gave what would prove to be a very short-lived weekend TV show to San Francisco-based radio shock talker Michael Savage. MSNBC.com, which is headquartered near Seattle and is operated as a stand-alone joint venture under the direction of Microsoft, NBC’s partner in MSNBC, apparently was oblivious to the connection. An MSNBC.com spokesman said the photo simply was the “most appropriate” of all those available to illustrate the story that day. The newlyweds agreed. The two women had exchanged vows of commitment in New York just three months before but could not resist flying to Mr. Savage’s home turf to be part of a historic moment. They called it an act of civil disobedience. “It was beautiful. We were all in tears,” said Cathy Renna, who recently departed GLAAD to join Fenton Communications, a PR firm in New York.