Published: Sep 01, 2010 4:53 PM EDT
Updated: Sep 01, 2010 1:54 PM EDT

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - A Nebraska newspaper is easing its ban on publishing gay marriage announcements to allow notices about legally recognized same-sex unions.

Omaha World-Herald Publisher Terry Kroeger announced the change Tuesday. The paper had been criticized online for its refusal to print a lesbian couple's commitment notice.

Kroeger says the World-Herald may have been slow to react to this issue, but the newspaper never hated gays and lesbians.

Kroeger says the newspaper changed its policy because five states, including neighboring Iowa, and the District of Columbia have legalized gay marriage. The World-Herald will now accept paid announcements of weddings, engagements and anniversaries from places that sanction gay marriage.