A number of American newspapers in states where gay marriage is illegal are refusing to print announcements of civil unions.

A male couple from Missouri who married in Iowa were rejected when they requested an announcement in their local paper. Since gay marriage is still illegal in Missouri, the state’s newspapers do not recognise it and can refuse to print announcements of same-sex unions.

The couple told WQAD.com: “It didn’t take long before they responded back we do not do same sex marriages or commitment ceremonies in our paper.”

In similar circumstances, according to The Reader, a gay couple from Nebraska who had been legally married in California were refused an announcement in the Omaha World-Herald, and were told by an advertising manager it was because the newspaper did not want to offend subscribers or advertisers.

Speaking to The Daily Telegraph, PinkNews.co.uk found that if a couple were to announce their civil union in the newspaper it would come under the banner of Court and Social, and under the separate title of Forthcoming Civil Partnerships, as opposed to Forthcoming Marriages.

Gay marriage is currently legal in six US states, with New Hampshire being the latest to allow gay couples to wed. However, a number of states have amended their constitutions to ban same-sex marriages.