Two Dudes

Oh suck it, you moralistic bitchasses:

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.


4 thoughts on “Two Dudes

  1. i couldn’t agree more, A. A lot of stuff appals me, but I don’t think the world needs to revolve around my tastes or desires. Even if I think the image in a photo on a front page is unnecessary, or ugly, or sad, or horrifying I wouldn’t dream of writing in and complaining about it. It should be obvious to any adult person in this universe that one’s personal prediliections, even ones imaginary majority preferences, aren’t the whole story in this complicated world. I’m not even one billionth of the people in this world, since there are more than a billion right now. My tribe of people-like-me aren’t even one billionth of all the tribes of people. Our mores and our beliefs, such as they are, have never dominated public discourse or controlled the polity. I’ve had to get used to that fact. People need to get over their delusions that if the world doesn’t cater to them in terms of fit, color, or style they just have to lump it.

  2. Seriously, if we’re gonna get into making law and public policy based on the tenet of “I don’t like it,” I want in on that.

  3. Tell ’em about it, Athenae.
    Remind me not to ask you on a straight tequila night while I’m at it. I can personally testify that a quarter-century ago, these boneheads (or their kin) were offended when I married, and ours was not a same-sex wedding; my SO and I are both green-eyed brown-maned Caucasians, to boot. But I’d been divorced; worse still, I’d had food stamps and Medicaid while I was out of work during those divorce proceedings. Turns out the boneheads are right: my SO isn’t a devout churchgoer anymore … nor a Scout leader … so the institutions don’t get the benefit of his efforts for free. We are still together, and our children are now grown and doing well on their own.
    Boneheads and control freaks will always be offended about something.
    Maybe nothing more important than having their hidebound superstitions’ power to end the world challenged in public.

  4. I did want to point out something encouraging, which is that this is the Fayetteville freakin’ Observer, which probably has the highest proportion of military readers of any paper in military-saturated North Carolina due to its proximity to Fort Bragg and Pope AFB and the large number of military retirees in the area. (Disclosure: I have friends working there.) And the editor of this paper is saying very strongly that covering this event, and doing it the way it did, was the right thing to do for the right reasons. It would have been very easy for the Observer simply not to cover the event, or to mumblefuss some sort of nonapology when the heat came in. Instead, in a very polite way, it told the critics to get bent.
    More — much more — like this, please.

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