Post readers react to photo of two men kissing

leekohler

macrumors G5
Original poster
Dec 22, 2004
14,162
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Chicago, Illinois
http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ombudsman-blog/2010/03/readers_react_to_photo_of_two.html

Powerful photographs can have lasting impact, and a Post photo of two men kissing is an image that many readers can neither forget nor accept.

The photo, which ran on the newspaper's front page and online last week, captured Jeremy Ames and Taka Ariga kissing outside D.C. Superior Court on the day that the District began accepting license applications for same-sex marriages.

Almost immediately, I began hearing from upset readers. That’s normal when controversial photos appear in The Post. The same thing happened recently when The Post published disturbing images of Haiti earthquake victims. 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 ****** 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.

Ann Witty of Woodbridge wrote to say she had canceled the Post subscription she has held since the 1960s.

“I am 65 years old and I realize that the world is changing rapidly – much more rapidly than I would like it to,” she e-mailed. “While I realize that the Post must report on these changes – even the ones with which I do not agree – I feel that the picture on Thursday morning was an affront to the majority of your readership. It is not something that I want coming into my home. I believe that even your editors know that it would have been better placed in the Metro section and that it would have mitigated its impact to do so.”

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.”

Many threatened to cancel their Post subscriptions, and more than two dozen did. Post circulation vice president Gregg Fernandes said that late last week 27 subscribers canceled, specifically citing the photo. In contrast, The Post reported only two cancellations immediately after last July’s ethics uproar over its ill-advised plan to sell sponsorships to off-the-record “salon” dinners at the publisher’s residence.

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.
Now reporting the news is off-limits with these people. These are probably the same people who say they aren't homophobic. Sad.
 

Eraserhead

macrumors G4
Nov 3, 2005
10,300
10,355
UK



Eeeeww!!!

EDIT: Sorry, but having a problem with a man kissing another man (as below) is as ridiculous as getting grossed out by the photo above.

 

bigjnyc

macrumors 603
Apr 10, 2008
6,270
3,338
There's always going to be people out there who love to complain about things no matter what they may be. Some people just have way too much time on their hands... Seeing this does not bother me and even if it did I probably wouldnt have the time or energy to write in or complain about it. but what can you do.


On a sidenote though I do kind of understand the concern of some parents... although I'm not a parent I would imagine that some parents out there wouldnt want to have to explain to a really young kid why 2 men are kissing.. just saying.
 

leekohler

macrumors G5
Original poster
Dec 22, 2004
14,162
19
Chicago, Illinois
There's always going to be people out there who love to complain about things no matter what they may be. Some people just have way too much time on their hands... Seeing this does not bother me and even if it did I probably wouldnt have the time or energy to write in or complain about it. but what can you do.


On a sidenote though I do kind of understand the concern of some parents... although I'm not a parent I would imagine that some parents out there wouldnt want to have to explain to a really young kid why 2 men are kissing.. just saying.
It's easy- just like it was explained to my nieces and nephews, "Most couples are a man and a woman, but some are two men or two women". It's not that difficult.
 

Queso

Suspended
Mar 4, 2006
11,832
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The Post is doing what media companies love to do best and reporting news about itself. Still, good for a laugh with some of those idiotic comments isn't it? :D
 

leekohler

macrumors G5
Original poster
Dec 22, 2004
14,162
19
Chicago, Illinois
The Post is doing what media companies love to do best and reporting news about itself. Still, good for a laugh with some of those idiotic comments isn't it? :D
Most of them are funny, but some are downright scary. I mean, we just had a guy beaten up on the train for being gay. It was really bad, too. At least the guys were caught.
 

NT1440

macrumors G5
May 18, 2008
12,140
13,982
This is just odd IMO.

When I see two lovers embrace, I always get the warm fuzzies because it's just confirmation that while so many things in the world are ****, love still prevails as a connection amongst people. I'm glad to see two people sharing their connection, I don't give a damn what they have in their pants. I've smiled when I see gay kisses on TV, even while my friends are doing the typical "dude, i don't need to see that!" charade.
 

Queso

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Mar 4, 2006
11,832
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Most of them are funny, but some are downright scary. I mean, we just had a guy beaten up on the train for being gay. It was really bad, too. At least the guys were caught.
Sadly Lee that's going to always happen even after the equal rights campaign has achieved its aims. Here in London a gay man was beaten to death in the middle of Trafalgar Square just last year. There will always be some homophobes, and some of them will continue to resort to violence.

However, as time goes on they become the ones who are increasingly the outsiders, and they will become despised by virtually everybody else in society. It's already happening, but it won't be a smooth ride.
 

leekohler

macrumors G5
Original poster
Dec 22, 2004
14,162
19
Chicago, Illinois
Sadly Lee that's going to always happen even after the equal rights campaign has achieved its aims. Here in London a gay man was beaten to death in the middle of Trafalgar Square just last year. There will always be some homophobes, and some of them will continue to resort to violence.

However, as time goes on they become the ones who are increasingly the outsiders, and they will become despised by virtually everybody else in society. It's already happening, but it won't be a smooth ride.
I know, but violence against gays seems to be on the rise lately.
 

Queso

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Mar 4, 2006
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Yep, exactly what we went through when we started winning the argument. It'll calm down eventually.
 

Queso

Suspended
Mar 4, 2006
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7
I'd rather that than a bunch of gunk about guns and stuff. Love is the best thing we have as a species. It ought to be on the front page every day.
 

mcrain

macrumors 68000
Feb 8, 2002
1,768
11
Illinois
Personally, I think seeing ugly people kiss is worse than two guys. Neither is titillating to me, but ugly people should be banned from getting married if gay people are.

Seriously, there are some people with genes that do NOT need to be replicated.

Blech.
 

remmy

macrumors 6502a
Jul 1, 2007
649
0
I dont get the complaints? If you dont like the image, just turn to the next page, scroll down the webpage, change the channel, it is not like they are forced to stare at the image for hours.

I dont like the image, no problem I'll find something I do like.
 

Rodimus Prime

macrumors G4
Oct 9, 2006
10,132
4
Why? What's the problem?
Just not a huge fan of PDA and pushing it in print.

As for 2 gay men or women getting married I see it as the same way I see 2 straight people getting married. That is if I do not personally know them I really do not care.

I feel gays should of the right to be married under the eyes of the law but who gets married to who I do not care.