Lauren Holtzman, left, and Chrissy LeMaire

When is a small-town newspaper more than the sum of its parts? When it quietly moves beyond the antiquated mores of the community it covers. (Perhaps we're being presumptuous about small-town South Louisiana.)

In conservative, Cajun, Catholic Kaplan down in Vermilion Parish, the weekly Kaplan Herald recently published what might be a first in Acadiana: a same-sex wedding announcement. The write-up and photograph were for Chrissy LeMaire, a Kaplan native, and her partner, Lauren Holtzman. The couple was legally wed in Washington, D.C., where they currently reside, although the announcement indicates they’ll soon be moving to Belgium where LeMaire is going to work for NATO. Pretty cool. The announcement was published in yesterday's print issue of the Herald.

What’s most surprising (and pleasing) about the LeMaire-Holtzman announcement is that the Kaplan Herald is owned by Louisiana State Newspapers, a Lafayette-based conglomerate of more than 20 small dailies and weeklies covering towns across south and central Louisiana, and a company generally known for its conservative editorial perspective. The LeMaire-Holtzman wedding announcement suggests the papers within the group enjoy some editorial autonomy.

We can’t recall ever seeing a same-sex wedding announcement in The Daily Advertiser and we’re not even sure what its policy is — we couldn’t find a lifestyles submissions policy at the daily’s website — although The Advertiser does still cling to the outdated habit of requiring new brides to be identified as chattel: Mrs. John Smith, etc.

Kudos to the Herald for being so, um, cosmopolitan. Read the full LeMaire-Holtzman announcement here.

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