Sunday, January 05, 2014

Standard Times Mea Culpa on J.W.'s Wonderful Life

Standard Times Editor Michael Kelly wrote a note to readers offended by the series of stories on former Mayor J.W. Lown's life in Mexico and same sex marriage to his younger husband, a Mexican citizen.  Kelly explained the story intersected two current issues, immigration and same sex marriage.  He compared these controversial issues to the FLDS Ranch and Warren Jeffs.

I don't see the connection.  The Standard Times never romanticized Warren Jeffs.  It conducted investigative reporting on the raid at their Yearning for Zion Ranch in Eldorado.  It didn't send a wedding photographer and reporter to write what read like a fairy tale, one that excluded the face and name of half of the married couple, albeit at their request.

This lack of balance bothered me, not their same sex marital commitment or their desires to get the unnamed spouse U.S. citizenship.  It felt like the next public chapter in J.W.'s "Great Man" story, where only his handlers facts and talking points come through.

It was a concluding step in an epic journey of love, personal turmoil and drastic choices that had begun four and a half years ago for Lown, San Angelo's mayor. 
Lown's lobbyist godfather Mario Castillo knows a good narrative sells at the ballot box and in our nation's capital.

"This is not the end," Lown said after the emotional ceremony. "This is the beginning."

Coupled with a new legal development in the United States that expanded the federal rights of same-sex couples, the nuptials could also mean a way out of Lown's self-imposed exile a way back to the West Texas city he still considers home.
I expect the Standard Times thought the series would be the ground floor of J.W.'s heroic return to the city he spurned for undocumented, same sex love and a bonus if it sold papers.  As a story of two whole people in love, it felt grossly incomplete.

J.W. dropped politics when he left town.  We'll see how he returns.  In the meantime I wish J.W. and his spouse much love, peace, happiness and the ability to live where they wish.

1 comment:

Bill Richardson said...

Mr. Lown's personal life is his own business. My opinion has always been that the government has no right to tell you who you can marry.

As for Mr. Lown's return to local politics I have no objections.