The reason we put it on the front page is simple: No story in our newspaper would generate more interest than this one. For some people, the very idea of homosexual marriage is appalling. They sincerely believed that this is a violation of God’s law and the more acceptable it becomes to society, the more clear it becomes that the moral fabric of our country is in tatters. For others, the marriage of Toven and Taylor is evidence that our society is on a path to increasing tolerance and they celebrate what they view as progress. What the people on either side of the debate share is a strong sense that this is an important issue, worthy of public disclosure and discussion. In North Carolina, the issue was important enough to have a vote on a constitutional amendment just to make it tougher to pass a law against gay marriage, even though the practice was already illegal in the state.
Finally, some people have questioned the particular photo we used with the story, which depicts the couple kissing under crossed sabers.
To those, I respond that no photo tells the story more clearly. The kiss under the sabers is a staple picture from military weddings. It would be hard to come up with an image that says more strongly that this is a military wedding of two men. It would have been impossible to take such a picture two years ago, first because any service member who valued his career could not openly admit his relationship, and second because no military chapel would have permitted the ceremony. This picture says more clearly than any others our photographer took that times have changed, probably more rapidly than anyone expected. Whether people celebrate the changes or condemn them, it is our responsibility as a newspaper to report them.
In other words, ooh, you don’t like a picture of two dudes kissing. Those two dudes probably didn’t like it much that until quite recently, they would have been fired for kissing. Jailed for kissing. Likely beaten or killed for kissing. So if we’re making surviving things that fucking suck an Olympic sport, THEY WIN.
I am so sick of this crap, this “seeing a thing I don’t like” being equated to actual harm. Nobody is hurting these bigots. Nobody is making their lives more difficult and it’s grossly insulting to those facing real hardship to imply otherwise. Being offended at breakfast is not the worst thing that can happen to you.
I am offended at breakfast almost every day, because Charles Krauthammer still has a job, and Dick Cheney and his robot heart continue to exist while so many good decent non-warmongering people do not, and somebody pays Jenny McFUCKINGCarthy to be on TV, but I put the Internet away and go out the front door into a world where as a straight white middle-class girl married to a dude I have exactly jack shit to worry about in terms of oppression and intolerance.
As does just about everybody complaining about the picture.