Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A Kiss Is Just A Kiss: Some WaPo Readers Go Crazy Over Two Men Smooching

Andrew Alexander, the Washington Post Ombudsman, has responded to angry readers who could not stomach seeing a photo of two men kissing after they received a marriage license. Washington, DC began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples last week. The photo captured the couple's joy.

Apparently, as a result of the photo, two dozen readers have canceled their subscriptions to the Washington Post. Several others emailed or called the Washington Post to express their discontent.

Naturally, many of the responses are homophobic:
A few of the readers have engaged in rants, often with anti-gay slurs. One called me to complain about “promoting a faggot lifestyle.” Another complained about the photo in an e-mail to the two Post reporters who wrote Thursday’s story about the licenses: “That kind of stuff makes normal people want to throw up. People have kids who are being exposed to this crap. I will be glad when your rag goes out of business. Real men marry women."
Others, also homophobic, complain that the picture assaulted them and that it should have been embedded more deeply within the paper, rather than on the front page:
Wrote Lee Miller of Columbia: “I would appreciate it if your cover pictures would not be so disturbing where my kids can see it easily on the kitchen table... please don’t shove this “Gay” business in our face. This is something that should have shown up on an inside page or two (without the picture).”

In comments to the ombudsman’s call-in line (202.334.7582), one reader said, “the picture of two guys kissing makes me cringe.” Another called it “ridiculous,” adding: “Put it on page 10 or page four, put it in the paper, but I do not like it right there where I can’t avoid looking at it.”
Despite the complaints, Alexander says that "[t]he photo deserved to be in newspaper and on its Web site, and it warranted front-page display."


Anonymous said...

Notice how it's only men (or almost only men) who are offended by such pictures and threatened by homosexuality in general?

Homophobia is a curious (male) phenomenon.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

Hi -- Women are not immune from homophobia, but because it is so steeped in patriarchy, I agree that it is far more often expressed by men!

FlyingSnake said...

Have you ever seen a gay man writing to a paper telling them to keep that hetero crap out of their faces? Nope. We've overcome so many prejudices, why can't we overcome this one too?

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

FlyingSnake: No, I have not.

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