Friday, 23 December 2011

Homophobia is alive and festering in the US.

When is a kiss not just a kiss?

The photo above and an article about US armed forces personnel was greeted with the predictable nasty and murderous reactions from zealot christianists and vile bigots.

Tut, tut. What would Jesus do?

He might say something along the lines of this letter from the managing editor of The Seattle Times.
Dear XXX

I’m sorry that you found the photo on today’s front page offensive. That was not our intention. We selected the photo because it depicted an historic moment for the U.S. military, vividly illustrating the end of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” era in a striking twist on the Navy’s “first kiss” tradition.

As you know, treatment of gay and lesbian members of the U.S. military has been hotly debated for years, including at military installations around the Puget Sound region. As politicians and military leaders argued, the effect on individual soldiers and sailors sometimes got lost. This photo, which both our picture and news editors described as iconic, showed what the policy change meant at street level.

Part of our responsibility as a news organization is to reflect the reality around us, even if it might make some readers uncomfortable. We do not make those decisions lightly. We debated how and where to use this picture extensively. In the end, we felt the historic nature of the photo merited front page treatment.

While you may not agree with this decision, I hope this explanation helps you understand it. We were not trying to push a political agenda. We were trying to show the real-world effect of a political change of policy.

I hope you will reconsider your decision to cancel the paper. Just as we value lively debates in our newsroom about how to display news, we value lively debates with our readers about whether they think we’re doing a good job. We need readers like you who care enough to call us to account when you don’t think we’re doing our jobs well. It keeps us on our toes and helps inform the choices we make going forward.

Kathy Best
Managing Editor, The Seattle Times


fern hill said...

On Twitter today, someone referred to a quote I'd read before but can't find a source for.

In reply to an irate letter to the editor from someone offended by something or other and threatening to cancel his/her subscription, the editor wrote: 'I am cancelling your subscription because you are too stupid to read my newspaper.'

Beijing York said...

It's time to ostracize these hateful retrogrades who hide behind the "freedom of religion" banner.

Niles said...

Meanwhile, in Canada, homosexual sailors and soldiers are openly snogging with their partners and intimates after having made it home alive and there are oddly, no crashes of civilization.

Or...should we blame the Harper government and all the hypocritical "we support the troops" blablah on the awful, offensive, open love that now dares to speak its name?

...nahhhh. It was the Liberals. naughty, naughty Liberals. With the NDP and Greens grinning ear to ear and clapping at the end of real families.

I like how some LGBT groups in the US have started using sarcasm in the US, sending apologies to Republican politicans caught up in adulterous sex scandals. Said apology contrite about how gay people being allowed to legally cohabit has destroyed said politician's traditional family.

Sol said...

I don't usually care much for corporate media organizations, but that is a classy, thoughtful and courteous response.

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