Gay Kiss Costs WaPo 27 Subscribers
Apparently, this front-page photo made 27 people mad enough to cancel their subscriptions to the Washington Post:
So, why did nearly half of WaPo’s subscribers cancel? A few people wrote ombudsman Andy Alexander using anti-gay slurs. Mostly, though, it was mothers who didn’t want their kids exposed to such displays and grandmothers who really didn’t want to watch the world changing quite so fast. Alexander defends the photo choice:
Did the Post go too far? Of course not. The photo deserved to be in newspaper and on its Web site, and it warranted front-page display.
News photos capture reality. And the prominent display reflects the historic significance of what was occurring. The recent D.C. Council decision to approve same-sex marriage was the culmination of a decades-long gay rights fight for equality. Same-sex marriage is now legal in the District. The photo of Ames and Ariga kissing simply showed joy that would be exhibited by any couple planning to wed — especially a couple who previously had been denied the legal right to marry.
There was a time, after court-ordered integration, when readers complained about front-page photos of blacks mixing with whites. Today, photo images of same-sex couples capture the same reality of societal change.
One can argue whether “mixing” and kissing are equivalent, much less whether homosexual conduct and the mere fact of being black are. But, certainly, there’s bound to be a major backlash when culturally controversial change is given such prominent treatment.
Is that fact that gay dudes are openly smootching in front of the courthouse — in broad daylight fer Chrissakes! — startling to some? Much less lining up to get licenses to marry one another? Of course. That’s precisely why this was front-page news in DC’s major newspaper. So, I have to agree with Mediaite‘s Drew Grant that, “if you don’t like it, feel free to cancel your Post subscription and live in the alternate reality where the news only reflects what you want to hear. It’s called cable.”
Interestingly — and perhaps proving Alexander’s point — there doesn’t seem to have been any complaint about the hot Anglo-on-Asian action.