Apparently, this photo (see below), published on the front page of The Washington Post as well as online last week, has caused quite a stir, upsetting readers and driving some of them to hysterics.
As Ombudsman Andrew Alexander explained:
Typically, the complaints quickly subside. With last Thursday's photo, they continued into Friday, through the weekend and even today. Early this morning, before D.C. Superior Court began issuing licenses to same-sex couples who had applied, a caller phoned to warn that he would cancel his Post subscription "if I see another photo of men lip-locking."
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."
But most simply said The Post had offended their sensibilities by publishing the photo, especially on the front page.
Hey, I'm "normal," more or less, I have kids, I'm married to a woman, and I'm a "real" man, broadly speaking, but you know what, I'm not an ignorant bigot.
But, then, these are the sort of people who objected to seeing a black woman sit at the front of the bus.
Most Post readers, I suspect, can take the sight of two men kissing. Some hopefully even celebrate it -- and celebrate D.C.'s legalization of same-sex marriage.
I know I do, which is why I post the photo. As for the bigots, they can shove it.