Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Reality Check: "That Kind of Stuff Makes Normal People Want to Throw Up"

The good news: District gays can now legally marry. The reality check: some Washington Post readers found the front-page image of two men kissing controversial. From the Atlantic Wire:
Last week, same-sex marriage became legal in the District of Columbia, to the delight of some and the consternation of others. On March 4, The Washington Post marked the occasion with a front-page story, accompanied by a photo showing two young men sharing a chaste kiss outside the D.C. Superior Court. Michael Tomasky applauded the Post's decision to run the photo, calling it a bold and welcome move from a usually "provincial and cautious newspaper."

But according to Post ombudsman Andrew Alexander, the photo has drawn an unusual amount of ire from readers. In a column at Omblog, Alexander describes fielding "rants, often with anti-gay slurs," and hearing from more than one reader that a snapshot of two men kissing doesn't belong in a family newspaper. (One reader complained of the photo, "That kind of stuff makes normal people want to throw up," suggesting Dahlia Lithwick might have been onto something when she wrote about "the politics of disgust" in Slate this week.)