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Readers react to photo of two men kissing

By Andy Alexander

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 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.

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.

By Andy Alexander  | March 9, 2010; 11:27 AM ET
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Next: Two men kissing Part 2: The counterattack


Of course, I'm not of the group that would be expected to react negatively to this photo. However, I must say that my first reaction was that it was an adorable couple. The photographer, aside from capturing something controversial and relevant, really managed to catch the emotion of the scene. I applaud the Post for the photo, and would like to remind readers that the highest purpose (in my opinion) of the news media is to regularly shake up our assumptions about the world by exposing us to new and different perspectives, events, opinions, and ideologies. If you feel completely comfortable after reading a newspaper, chances are that it isn't doing its job.

Further, children are unlikely to be shocked by the photo as they haven't yet absorbed the views their parents have about social norms, and so won't yet know why the photo is shocking. (In the same way they don't know why they can't wear their Cinderella costume everywhere yet- they haven't absorbed certain social expectations yet).

Posted by: firelizard19 | March 9, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Those people are ridiculous. That picture is far less disgusting and exhibitionist than a typical episode of Jersey Shore or the Bachelor. I think their reaction proves that it *should* have been on the front page - gays being allowed to marry in DC is big news! And big in a national front-page kind of way, not a metro-section kind of way! It's unfortunate there are still so many bigoted people out there.

Posted by: blahblah6b | March 9, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Big, color photos of homosexuals hugging and smooching shows pure contempt for the values of the vast majority of Americans.

The publishers of the liberal media wonder why they are losing readers and circulation. One reason is that old line papers such as WaPo dish out a bland, liberal diet of Democrat propaganda. Another reason is its obvious devotion to all things homosexual.

Most of us are totally disinterested in homosexuality and its manifestations. Many are downright hostile to it. Homosexual activists have their own publications. That's where their affairs belong.

I'm sure WaPo honchos think they are supporting a good cause. That's their opinion only. It just does not reflect America, as a whole.

By doing this thing they are merely driving more and more people to the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Glen Beck.

Unintended consequences, I'm sure.

Posted by: battleground51 | March 9, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Well, if the American Psycyhiatric Association and the American Psychological Association say that same sex attraction and same sex sexual activity are perfectly normal expressions of adult sexuality, why shouldn't it be in the newspaper? Why shouldn't children be taught in school at the earliest possible age that being attracted to the same sex or engaging in same sex sexual activity is perfectly normal and acceptable sexual behavior. In fact, it will be necessary to say that marriage has nothing to do with having babies or channeling the sexual energies of men and women into stable marriages. Marriage is merely the state licensing of any sexual relationship between any two consenting adults such that they can have access to benefits.

Posted by: captn_ahab | March 9, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

I have to wonder if the photo have gotten the same reaction if it was two women kissing on the front page?

Posted by: WickedRose | March 9, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

These are the same readers whose parents once would have been offended by a photo of an interracial couple kissing. Welcome to the 21st century, folks!

Posted by: gmg22 | March 9, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Gee, the pictures and accompanying coverage of this big news story made me happy that in DC all can marry whom they choose.

I pointed the story and pictures out to my kids (8 and 12) so they could recognize this historic moment.

No plans to cancel my subscription over this tempest in a teapot!

Posted by: tcamp311 | March 9, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Many of the people who objected to this picture brought up their "kids," however failed to provide a specific reason how this picture harmed their child. That is because no such evidence exists. On the other hand, there is ample evidence of the harm that has been caused by people who seek to marginalize gays in our society. A Department of Health study indicates gay youth to be six times more likely to attempt suicide, and gay teens account for up to 30 percent of teenage suicides. The irony here is that the people who are complaining about this photo, are the same types of people whose own children are attempting suicide. Wrapping bigotry against gays inside concern for young people belies the horrendous effect that bigotry has had on many young people.

Posted by: nyc98765 | March 9, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

"Most of us are totally disinterested in homosexuality and its manifestations. Many are downright hostile to it. Homosexual activists have their own publications. That's where their affairs belong."


And blacks have their own publications. The Post should never show blacks or interracial couples kissing.

And Christians have their own publications. The Post should never show a religious service or people getting married in a church.

If you are offended by this I'd suggest you need to recalibrate your seriously 1860s sense of outrage.

Posted by: Hillman1 | March 9, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

@WickedRose: No.

Posted by: dstu | March 9, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Let them cancel, good riddance!! Great job with the paper!!

Posted by: dnl7864 | March 9, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse


Please allow me to volunteer myself as the replacement subscriber for 'Ann Witty of Woodbridge' -- she cancelled her subscription after seeing this photo, and I subscribed yesterday for a 12-month, 7-day deal, to be automatically renewed. You had her for the past 60 years, and you'll have me for the next 60.

I am proud of the Post for producing journalism that tells the story of what's happening in our time, and I am sad for the people who can't look past their own selves to see the value in that.

And congrats to all the newlyweds!

Posted by: mccxxiii | March 9, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

This only goes to show how primitive our society really can be. Grow up folks.

Posted by: bobbarnes | March 9, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

The RAPTURE is near for Washington, D.C. The Nations Capital is now Sodom and Gomorrah and it too will be destroyed, not by God, but by mankind.

I hope the Washington Post will go out of business soon. Good riddance to the Washington Post.

Posted by: Ward4DC | March 9, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

..WOW, just WOW 49yrs old, 50 this upcoming July.....ALl these arguments sound Sooo Familiar..I remember growing up in the 60's / 1960 to be exact...the things I heard from "Grown-ups" regarding Blacks,and thier "Uppity-ness", and WHY they couldn't mind thier place...and even after the Civil Rights Act, people's comments.."What else do these Savages want"?.."Now they want to marry our white women"? I heard this crap, from adults growing up..and Luckily IT NEVER sank in/festered on/in me...I say..Live and Let Live, Equality for ALL in America!! Congrats to the Happy Couple! ..and Thank you WaPo!!!!!

Posted by: rextrek1 | March 9, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

I for one, SUBSCRIBED to the WaPo BECAUSE of their coverage. Thanks for doing a good job at tell the WHOLE story, not just a part of the story

People may wish to bury their heads in the sand, cover their ears and pretend it's still the 19th century, but most Americans are willing and able to grow and embrace a future where all of our fellow citizens can enjoy equal status under the law the way framers of the Constitution intended it to be [well, at least for old white men, but I digress].

To be continued...

Posted by: MadamBomb | March 9, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

I am 23 and straight. I don't understand why people don't think gays should marry, let alone a picture of two dudes kissing, everybody my age doesn't think this is a big deal at all. By the time we're 50 nobody is going to think of this as an issue anymore...

Posted by: BigCollyD | March 9, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

I second mccxxii. I am happy to be a replacement subscriber to the Washington Post after a few people unsubscribed after seeing a picture of two pepople who love one another. I will subscribe today. Congrats on doing what's right, WashPost!

Posted by: MarylandJ | March 9, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

..and Ward4Dc is the kind of person I heard ALL that Crap from in the 60's....thank you Ward4DC, for showing us the perfect example of HOW NOT TO BE! Iran waits for your type.

Posted by: rextrek1 | March 9, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

So Ms. Witty had a mini temper tantrum because of that lovely photo of men kissing. She cancelled her subscription to show the Washington Post something! Did she also cancel her cable television?

So glad I do not know people like this.

Posted by: homer4 | March 9, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Hurray for the WP!
Thank you for the front page and continuing coverage of this important historic event. I noted with amusement that Ms. Witty complained about the world "changing rapidly – much more rapidly than I would like it to" and yet for someone 65 she has learned to use email and the internet. As for Lee Miller, what a missed opportunity for learning and discussion for the children--an important life lesson of equality that could have been taught at home.

Posted by: barongustav2 | March 9, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Alexander's attempt to compare photos of victims of a horrendous natural disaster to photos of gays smooching is inexplicable.

The only connection I can think of is that voters didn't approve the earthquake and voters didn't approve the homosexual marriage law.

Posted by: spamsux1 | March 9, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Let's face it: It made you feel 'oogy', didn't it?

I know it did me. But that doesn't mean it should be banned to the back page of the Post. Fact is, homosexuals have always existed and will continue to exist. You don't have to like something to accept that it exists.

And folks on either side have the right to speak to their like or dislike but that to me isn't all that important. What is important is that I don't spend my time putting down some gay guys for wanting to live their lives as semi-freely as the rest of us (we ain't truly free, you all realize that right?). Big Brother, Patriot Act, etc. ensures that we all have a length of leash afforded us that can be yanked at any time for any reason, real or otherwise if The Government says so.

So let the gays join the ranks of the married and miserable...we'll show them...LMAO

Posted by: kahlua87 | March 9, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

It's really is amazing how destructive the simple act of two men kissing can be. Religious beliefs are shattered. Entire families are destroyed. Children (and adults) are apparently scarred for life (and will most likely turn gay). Wow... the power that those two men have over other people's lives is nothing short of a miraculous.

Yeah, homophobia is a pretty powerful thing, isn't it?

Posted by: obtusegoose | March 9, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

The reaction of normal human beings to this photo is: "Awwww, congratulations to the happy couple!"

Anything else is the sign of a mentally disturbed, fearful, rage-filled person--the kind who would have belonged to the KKK a hundred years ago, or helped burn witches four hundred years ago.

Good riddance to the Ann Wittys of the world!

Posted by: SportinLife | March 9, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Let's see how many new subscriptions the Post picks up because of the news that two dozen cancelled due to a photograph.

It's been a few years since I let my subscription lapse. The Post can count on my resubscription as a replacement for any one of the narrowminded cancellers.

Posted by: | March 9, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

I congratulate the Post for publishing the photo!

Posted by: talleyl | March 9, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

I'm calling to subscribe right now, and I will cite the photo as my reason for doing so.

Great post, Andrew.

Posted by: blackasphalt | March 9, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

I guarantee all these dudes complaining about being sooooo offended by a PHOTO of two guys kissing are the same ones who pleasure themselves to hardcore girl-on-girl pornography as soon as their wives leave for choir practice. Guarantee it! Typical whiny hypocrites.

Posted by: baileybud | March 9, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Today I find the photograph perfectly acceptable, but I also understand people's reservations. I was upset many years ago when Newsweek published a cover photo of gay women with a huge headline "Lesbian". At the time my children were 8 and 10 years old and I didn't feel like discussing it with them. It was an "in your face" situation and this is similar.

Posted by: Jem248 | March 9, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Congratulation to Jeremy and Taka. They should be commended for their openness and love. I hope that I'm lucky enough to find what they have one day. To those who hate...I really do feel sorry for you. With all that is going on in the world how can you believe that your hate is what God, whether you believe he exists or not, would want? These are the same people who burned crosses on lawns in the 60s and wanted women to be seen and not heard at the beginning of last century. The tide is changing and history will judge you to be wrong and I don't know how you cannot see that.

Posted by: mallard1 | March 9, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

As a Christian I don't believe in the life style nor can I accept it. That is my faith, my belief. I just wanted to say, if you watched Saturday Night Live last weekend, there was a seen where two of the male comedians were tongue on tongue kissing. Hollywood is softening up this Judeo-Christian nation to the homosexual lifestyle.

My younger colleagues at work are all accepting of this lifestyle even though they attend a Christian church more often than I and of course, call themselves Christian. There are 4 passages in the Holy Bible, 3 in the Old Testament, 1 in the New Testament that speak against this way of living. One wonders what their Pastors/Reverend speaks/teaches on this subject?

These photos are the shape of things to come. For those of us who believe that the Bible is God's word divinely scribed by man, we have a challenge. Imagine trying to raise your child in a Biblical, Christian belief today. Very tough, very tough.

Posted by: ajackson3 | March 9, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Finally, a paper bold enough to report the truth in turbulent times.

I believe these readers with negative reactions to this photo are missing the point. The news is an objective entity, that simply observes and reports. The times have changed and LGBT individuals are much more open and eager to claim their rights.

This isn't an attack on straight readers. This is a report of current noteworthy events that, sooner or later, affect us all.

The news is neither solely for the straight community nor is it solely for the LGBT community. It is instead a service to all people and obviously endeavors to uphold the ideals of objective journalism. Bravo!

I am a proud subscriber to the online version of The Washington Post and I'd like to keep it that way.

Posted by: shylaheells | March 9, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Good For You !!!

Posted by: rodms_wa | March 9, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

It's a lovely photo. Thanks for publishing it.

Posted by: thunderboltfan | March 9, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

It's an amazing photo. Amazing how so many of the people who purport to be 'offended' by it are enthralled by Rush Limbaugh's crude racism or Glenn Beck's nightly rants about socialism and Nazism, which are 9 million times more offensive and vulgar than anything arising from DC's gay community.

And as for those who claim to fear for their kids, do you cover their eyes every time you are at CVS or Safeway and see the latest Cosmo magazine cover ("10 new positions to keep your man happy")? Yeah, I didn't think so.

Finally I have a message for Anne Witty: I have an 87-year old grandmother who wonders when I'm going to get married and is disappointed that I haven't found the right man yet! Don't hide your bigotry behind your age.

Posted by: acm42570 | March 9, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

TO: Gay White Males and Liberal Whites

If the gay white community was so tolerate in Washington, D.C., why have black gays and lesbians been having Black Gay and Lesbian Pride in D.C. for the last 20 years on Memorial Day and Mayor Fenty and D.C. Ward 1 openly gay Jim Graham and D.C. openly gay At-Large Councilmember David Catania never show up at the Black Gay & Lesbian Pride along with their Council colleagues? The D.C. Council and Mayor Fenty exluding the Wards 7 & 8 Councilmembers turn out in June for the White Gay Pride affair downtown. How is this being inclusive of black gays and lesbians?

Posted by: Ward4DC | March 9, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

I commend the Washington Post for publishing this beautiful picture of this happy couple in love. Anybody with a heart and a brain should be rejoicing the recent news in DC. Look at all these happy couples, finally able to marry the person they love. What is not to celebrate? Sadly there are some bitter, blackhearted people out there who resent the happiness of others and feel like they need to inject their own twisted superstitious beliefs on the lives of others. Let them cancel their subscription - let them stick their heads in the sand where it belongs. The world is moving by without them.

Posted by: bandit1972 | March 9, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

ajackson3, first off, your comment has nothing to do with the issue at hand: whether a newspaper should report the news. Second, you're free to personally feel however you like about homosexuality, but it's NOT your job to judge your young colleagues' beliefs and Christian "qualifications," and if you really read your Bible (try John 8:7) you'd know that.

Posted by: gmg22 | March 9, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Love the photo, congratulations to all the couples that are finally able to get married close to home. And thanks to the editors and publishers that are covering the news of our city.

Also huge thanks to those of you subscribing to WaPo for the coverage. We need newspapers.

Posted by: DC_Grrl | March 9, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

The idea that this picture is somehow not appropriate is ludicrous. Of course it's appropriate! Same-sex marriage is now legal in Washington DC, and getting the first legal same-sex marriage licenses was unquestionably news. So, unless these readers would also object to a similar photo of an opposite-sex couple (which hardly would be news or rare), then they have no rational argument to make. Furthermore, news is news. It's not something every reader must agree with or approve of. The news is not created to reinforce one's world view. It reflects world reality. Don't like reality, don't read newspapers or move them quickly to the recycling bin.

Posted by: ErnestMc | March 9, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

There's a romantic comedy that came out just recently, called "Valentine's Day" which follows the lives of several couples, including one couple that turns out to be homosexual.

At the very end of the movie, each couple is shown having a romantic moment. But while all the heterosexual man/woman couples are shown sharing a sensual kiss, the gay guys are just shown looking into each other's eyes from a distance.

I thought it was pretty funny and ironic that in an era where gay marriage no longer raises anyone's brows, and a picture of men getting married makes the front page of the WaPo, the actual *image* of homosexual behavior, such as kissing, is still very much taboo. For all the strides that may have been made, society still has a few unspoken rules which may never be broken. As one columnist wrote, "even Rachel Maddow wears lipstick to work."

Posted by: eugene8 | March 9, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Thank you for publishing this picture. Not only is it a beautiful photo of a significant moment in the lives of two people, it's good photojouralism. And good journalism, period.

And to concerns about the 27 people who canceled their subscription, perhaps the Post needs to tally how many of us canceled their subscription because of the shoddy coverage in the run-up to the Iraq War. I bet I know at least 27 people personally who did so.

Finally, it's most likely that this photo wasn't an affront to the majority of the Post's readership: 67% of Americans support gay marriage or civil unions, with only 28% opposed. And it's generally the case that the Metro region trends more liberal than some other parts of the country.

Forty-two percent of Americans now say same sex couples should be allowed to legally marry, a new CBS News/New York Times poll finds. That's up nine points from last month, when 33 percent supported legalizing same sex marriage.

Support for same sex marriage is now at its highest point since CBS News starting asking about it in 2004.

Twenty-eight percent say same sex couples should have no legal recognition – down from 35 percent in March – while 25 percent support civil unions, but not marriage, for gay couples.

Posted by: heatherbrie | March 9, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Change is always uncomfortable; and the "norm" is defined by society. Being an "out of the closet" gay person has become the norm and those who are unable to deal with it have now taken the place of "in the closet" gays of the past—uncomfortable. It is much better and easier that a person be able to live their life comfortably than it is for another person to be comfortable in dealing with how another person decides to live their life. I am a Christian and I have my beliefs about homosexuality, but my beliefs are my own and I would never try to use my Christian beliefs to make another person uncomfortable with how they chose to live their life. For those Christians who believe that homosexuality is a sin, I'm sure you also believe that adultery, fornication, the love of money, using foul language, "drinking alcohol" and all of the other things that are called out in scripture are sins, but how often do you outwardly condemn those who partake in the many other sins called out in the Bible? The Bible says love thy neighbor as you love also says love the sinner, hate the sin...if we all hated each other for our sinful ways, there would be no love in this world, because the Bible also says that we all sin and fall short of His glory. Stop hating people because their norm is not yours!

Posted by: Beingsensible | March 9, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

You are wrong, white gays still discriminate against black gays and you will never be accepted as equal by white gay men. Read the article attached below. I am Heterosexual and I have been married for 32 years with 3 adult sons and all 3 are college educated with no babies momma.

Black gay men are least desired sexual partners claims study authors

Posted by: Ward4DC | March 9, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

All these people playing the "danger to children" card make my stomach turn. You're upset because other people are making it harder for you to raise your kids to be bigots?

If you're telling your children that it's not only okay, but an obligation, to discriminate against other people, then the only ones harming them are you.

Posted by: madcorbin | March 9, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

I'm happy that the discrimination is ending; however, the problem many people of faith have (not the homophobic Phelps-types) is that this discriminates against THEM. Certain Biblical scriptures will soon become illegal, pastors will soon be under arrest for preaching about homosexuality, and ministers will soon be coerced to marry gay couples despite what they believe in their consciences. Of course they tell us that no, this will not happen, it's all about equal rights and civil rights and so on. But take a sneak peak at the anti-Christian rhetotic on this page alone and it will reveal otherwise. Christians have no problem with inter-racial marriage (culture does), so the attempt to equate the two is moot. I support the right of gays to marry, but I do not support the screechingly obvious attempt to ostracize those who disagree.

Posted by: lany | March 9, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

TO: Gay White Males and Liberal Whites

If the gay white community was so tolerate in Washington, D.C., why have black gays and lesbians been having Black Gay and Lesbian Pride in D.C. for the last 20 years on Memorial Day and Mayor Fenty and D.C. Ward 1 openly gay Jim Graham and D.C. openly gay At-Large Councilmember David Catania never show up at the Black Gay & Lesbian Pride along with their Council colleagues? The D.C. Council and Mayor Fenty exluding the Wards 7 & 8 Councilmembers turn out in June for the White Gay Pride affair downtown. How is this being inclusive of black gays and lesbians?
Posted by: Ward4DC
Oh we really need to turn this into a "White Gays discriminate against Black Gays and the Mayor and Council help" thing?! Just accept the moment...all gays Black and White have been granted the right to get married in D.C....ALL GAYS...BLACK AND WHITE...O.K>???!!!

Posted by: Beingsensible | March 9, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

It's pictures like this that KEEP me subscribing to the Washington Post. Bravo to the WP for their coverage of this truly historic event!

Posted by: SilverSpringirl | March 9, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

As a gay man nearing 60, seeing that photo meant a great deal to me. That we are no longer societal outcasts, relegated to second class status. There is much still to be done, but we have taken a big step.
Thank you WaPo for reflecting the wonderful change in society.
Any my sympathies to those whose religion blinds you to the real and good people that are the object of your scorn and hatred.

Posted by: kashe | March 9, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

I am a straight, mid-40s, married male and I have no problem with the photo of the two guys kissing. My grandparents were from Eastern Europe and it is common for the men in my family to kiss on both cheeks when greeting. I thought the photo in the Post was sweet and quite tasteful. If it had been a "sloppy wet kiss" then I could see a reason for people getting upset - but that would also go for a hetero couple kissing. I don't understand why people feel so threatened by gay people kissing and getting married. I really don't. If you are not gay, then this has nothing to do with you. And if you don't have gay friends, I encourage you to meet some gay people and just talk to them and you will see that they are just people and don't want to impact your life in any way. They just want to be happy - like everyone else.

Posted by: charcoal | March 9, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Such a strong reaction to a picture portraying two loving individuals on their special day.
1. This does NOT discriminate against Christians. They can continue to believe whatever they want
2. Certain Biblical scriptures will soon become illegal - not as long as we have freedom of the press
3). pastors will soon be under arrest for preaching about homosexuality - only those whose speech leads to violence.
4). ministers will soon be coerced to marry gay couples - Catholics have never been forced to marry Jews, Lutherans have not been forced to marry Methodists.
And, finally, "Christians have no problem with inter-racial marriage". They most certainly did. Please, read your history before making an incorrect statement such as this one.

Posted by: markoh07 | March 9, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

"Most of us are totally disinterested in homosexuality and its manifestations."

Sorry, but far too many of you are much too interested in "homosexuality and its manifestations."

I'm gay and I don't spend as much time thinking about "homosexuality and its manifestations" as you people do.

You boys spend far too much time concerned with my penis.

Come out or shut up already.

Posted by: buckythepony | March 9, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Folks who object to that photo need to grow up.

Posted by: drewdane | March 9, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

More pictures of gays and lesbians kissing on the front page, please.

Thanks. Keep up the good work.

Posted by: stantonpark | March 9, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

I really don't have much to add, aside from wanting to thank you very much for defending the use of the picture on the front page of the Post. Like it or not, it was news (and news of a historic nature) and the Post did the right thing publishing it. It's a shame people find that picture offensive.

Posted by: apapazukamori | March 9, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

charcoal wrote:

" I don't understand why people feel so threatened by gay people kissing and getting married. I really don't. If you are not gay, then this has nothing to do with you."

People kissing do not threaten me in any way. If you want to kiss someone of the same sex or opposite sex, on the lips, on the cheek with tongue or without, go for it. Whatever turns you on is the new mantra anyway, and we all know, now that the experts have proclaimed it, that gay sex is perfectly normal too.

However, as marriage is the fundamental unit of society, how a society defines or redefines marriage affects me and everyone in society.

It is everyone's responsiblity to think very carefully about the long term implications of changing the definition of marriage to meet the needs of a small group of people. Especially, when changing that definition changes the absolute essential character of what we in the West have understood marriage to be.

What may be good for D.C. may not be good for my state or my society. We are all affected by changing this definition.

Posted by: captn_ahab | March 9, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

I'm kind of sick and tired of "Christians" moaning about their inability to raise their children as "Christians," constantly hiding behind the bible to do so. I'm as angry I can't raise my children as caring, charitable, open minded and loving people in such a hateful society. Unless you stone your neighbors to death for working on Sunday, shut up, please.

Posted by: lenny2 | March 9, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Heh, Kenny2.

You raise such an interesting point.

I remember growing up when anyone who worked on Sunday was Satan.

No question.

And then the Free Market decided that people needed to work on Sunday to make more money the the Free Market God of corporate profit and all the so called Christians decided that Sunday wasn't so sacred afterall.

Posted by: buckythepony | March 9, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

"Certain Biblical scriptures will soon become illegal, pastors will soon be under arrest for preaching about homosexuality, and ministers will soon be coerced to marry gay couples despite what they believe in their consciences."

Remarriage after a civil divorce is now legal in this country, and has been for nearly 200 years. I grew up Roman Catholic and heard the priests and nuns condemn this lifestyle choice, using the Bible as justification, all the time. In fact, my own uncle, who married his second wife in 1981, was roundly condemned by many of my more Catholic relatives and friends.

Flash forward to 2010 and guess what, the Catholic Church is still preaching against divorce and remarriage. Yet no priest has ever been arrested for this preaching, the phrase "what God has joined together, let no man pull asunder" remains not only preachable, but part of the Catholic wedding ceremony, and not one church, Catholic or not, has been forced to marry any non-members.

The only difference between those who have been divorced and remarried and same-sex couples who are married? The divorcees are protected by federal law, the same-sex couples are not. Yet even with federal protections, no actions have been taken against preachers or priests who preach the truth about divorce from the Bible.

Posted by: CPT_Doom | March 9, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Thank you for supporting your decision and not backing down in the face of these people complaining about a picture that is far from controversial. First of all, I doubt there would have been the same reaction if it were two women, which is a problem of a different nature. The people who complain that their children will see are the same ones who let their children watch MTV and see similar images. Further, trying to hide images like this one from children will only accomplish two things: 1. teach the children that it is ok to judge people for being who they are and 2. stunt their emotional growth.
This needs to be an opportunity to educate those who are against gay marriage and I think the post has been willing to take up this mantle which is why i continue to subscribe to the print edition even if i read many of the articles online.

Posted by: ed6900a | March 9, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

I am so proud of my beautiful city and so proud of the newspaper I turn to for news. Bigotry is ugly in any and all forms it comes in. Those of you who say or write such ugly, hateful things about your neighbors are bigots- pure and simple. Shame on all of you who do not want equal freedoms for all. Shame on you.

Posted by: rgp3 | March 9, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

THANK YOU for featuring this photo on the front page. If more images of homosexuals were shown in mainstream media, perhaps my future wife and I could hold hands in a public place without someone having a fit over it. I've never subscribed to a print newspaper before, but I'm seriously considering subscribing to (or at least making a contribution to) the WaPo after reading this.

Contrary to what these commenters may believe, gays and lesbians represent a sizable portion of the population. We work in your offices, live in your communities, and even send our kids to the same schools as yours! We are not some freakish little subculture that can be wished away with hateful comments and canceled subscriptions.

Posted by: engineer_girl | March 9, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, Washington Post, for not caving in to ignorant bigotry. If I lived on the east coast I would gladly subscribe to your paper to make up for those two dozen cancellations.

Bellingham, Washington

Posted by: Canada88 | March 9, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

THANK YOU Washington Post! The majority of us in Washington, DC support equality and gay marriage and we support that front page photo!

Posted by: SkeptiDC | March 9, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Add me to the list of subscribers BECAUSE of the excellent coverage the Post has given the fight for Marriage Equality in DC!

Posted by: redgrifn | March 9, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Time for me to get a subscription to the Post again....Thanks for covering all the news, not just the news some people want to read.

Posted by: gl123 | March 9, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

We're here, and nobody can wish us away by hiding photos/marginalizing the gay community. This is a big day, folks, and the shape of things to come.

Get used to it.

Posted by: arlwatcher | March 9, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

I'm curious whether 27 people canceling represents an unusually high number for the post or if folks cancel at this rate for similar reasons all the time. Certainly the Post is the poster child of the liberal media, despite the fact that it sucked up to Dubya every step of the way to the Iraq war and beyond.

As far as this photo is concened, snoooooze. I was interested in the news, but I didn't even notice the photo. Can we get over this please? Gays are here. they're queer. Get used to it!

Posted by: blablabla | March 9, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

I remember telling my young cousin about a party I had at my place and mentioned that my friend Scott and his boyfriend were there, among the other couples. My cousin, who was 11 at the time and who knows many of my friends, looked up at me with a curious tilt to his head and said "Scott has a boyfriend?"
I said rather neutrally, "Well, yes. He does have a boyfriend. Scott dates men."
My cousin digested this for a moment and then shrugged and asked when we were going for ice cream. Somehow, I don't think it was the kids who were freaked out or disturbed by that photograph.

Posted by: jrzwrld | March 9, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Uppity haters need to learn their place: in the closet with the rest of the relics. If they must speak, they need to learn that they speak only for themselves. The culture wars are over. Culture won.

Posted by: fzdybel | March 9, 2010 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Captn_ahab sez:
"It is everyone's responsiblity [sic] to think very carefully about the long term implications of changing the definition of marriage to meet the needs of a small group of people"

What then, Captn Ahab, are those implications?

I wish everyone who choses to use the word "implications" would explain to us rationals what exactly those said implications might entail. An no, Captn Ahab, it does not involve children. An no, Captn Ahab, this is not "a small group of people", these are Americans who are begin marginalized.

All I want is the federal government to recognize my partner and me. Keep your religion.

Posted by: sawyer20007 | March 9, 2010 6:39 PM | Report abuse

"It is everyone's responsiblity to think very carefully about the long term implications of changing the definition of marriage to meet the needs of a small group of people. Especially, when changing that definition changes the absolute essential character of what we in the West have understood marriage to be."

yes, I'm very worried about the licensing of more stable loving relationships- what will this lead to? a stronger community? more two-parent households? more models of healthy relationships between adults?

be more concerned with the teen pregnancy rate, the high divorce rate, and deadbeat dads not participating in the lives of their children. These have long term (and short term) implications for society.

Posted by: tennisguydc | March 9, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse

It seems to me that the most appropriate reaction and comment to a photo such as this is, "What a happy couple. May their future bring them much joy and happiness."

I think it's really hard to understand why anyone would wish them anything else.

I remember when a friend was upset with who a mutual friend of ours was marrying. I gently reminded her that this was about them, not her.

Posted by: ricklinguist | March 9, 2010 7:00 PM | Report abuse

I guess Webster's might as well scrub perverse, according to the enlightened nothing is perverse. Maybe WaPo should put a picture of men throwing up tomorrow, equal time you know.

Posted by: shukov | March 9, 2010 7:09 PM | Report abuse

Sooooo many people who want to use their own lives to define "normal" for everyone else. IMAGINE... Hate in America? Ya.

People are born gay but bigotry is a choice. So get over yourselves, y'all. You don't own the world but you CAN opt to join it.

Or improve it... there are worse things to worry about than two fellows in love you've never even met. Seriously. I mean, what are you complainers doing to end genuine problems like hunger, pollution, or bigotry? Oh, wait, that's you...

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Posted by: loveshoppingus | March 9, 2010 7:24 PM | Report abuse


Men kissing men, featured and celebrated!

Congratulations to all the newlyweds, and those about to get married in DC!

Who will the bigots and hateful individuals target now? They have a judgmental lifestyle I find objectionable.

New Jersey should be next, and who knows how much more progress will be made after that!

In Ohio, the faculty of THE Ohio State University is providing benefits to same sex partners, even though the Board of Regents did not want this to happen. An over-ride to keep quality people, imagine THAT!

The politics of gay people going to places where there is equality are getting stronger!

Last one to ditch DOMA will experience an abandonment of great people.

Sign me,

One seriously considering moving to a place which recognizes me as an equal, during this, the time in my life.

Posted by: GayIsGREAT | March 9, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Sorry that the 65 year old subscriber has turned into such an old fogey. I'm 61 and thought the photo was great. Those worried about their children seeing such a thing better not let their kids watch any TV - trust me, they've seen it before.

Posted by: seaduck2001 | March 9, 2010 7:50 PM | Report abuse

I'm currently a student in Louisiana (not New Orleans, the conservative bigoty part), and get all my news from the WaPo. I figured when I moved down here I'd need to keep the fact that I was gay a little on the quiet side to make sure I didn't offend anyone. My Mom was even worried about me moving down here and warned me to watch myself a little, "you're not in DC anymore, things are different down there." Guess what people, they're not. No one under 30 gives a crap if I'm gay or straight. In fact, last week, the only other gay guy in my program had a birthday party at a gay bar, and invited the whole class, a number of whom came, even though they were straight guys. Ok, they felt a little weird ACTUALLY going to a gay bar, but they went.

The point is, this doesn't offend the values of "most Americans," in fact, when you look at people who aren't boomers or older, it offends very few Americans. So to Ann Witty of Woodbridge, the 65 year old lady, it turns out that YOUR LETTER is an affront to me, and to the majority of the readers, and I don't want YOUR antiquated values and YOUR hate speech coming into MY Home. So cancel your subscription and go back to writing angry letters to Ann Landers.

Posted by: gui_lo | March 9, 2010 7:56 PM | Report abuse

I'm 50, hetero, and happily married for 22 years to my best friend.

I think this is a wonderful picture. Thank you for publishing it on the front page. It makes me happy and gives me hope. I wish all the best to these guys. Love rules all, baby.

Posted by: colorfauna | March 9, 2010 8:15 PM | Report abuse

The hatred and the lack of tolerance on the part of these so-called Christians has nothing to do with anything that Christ taught and is infinitely more damaging and dangerous to what are TRUE family values. I'm straight, which I think is important to say because I'm not trying to promote a homosexual agenda for my own benefit. But PLEASE stop calling homosexuality a "lifestyle." Do you consider your heterosexuality a "lifestyle"? I don't. I'm straight because I am. Simple as that. What will you people do if someone in your family turns out to be gay - because they will (and probably already are) - I promise you. Will you hate them, scorn them, force them to deny who they are, force them to perhaps marry and end up hurting a spouse and children irreparably in the process, and perhaps even lead them to suicide? Tell me how any of that has anything to do with an ounce of the love and tolerance that Christ taught. I know a straight man whose father came out when he was a teenager. Gee - it didn't rub off on him like the cooties. How'd that happen? And he's far from a fluke - there are numerous other examples of people like him.

Posted by: mvot | March 9, 2010 8:27 PM | Report abuse

Is the Post morphing into the Blade?

Posted by: DQuixote1 | March 9, 2010 8:32 PM | Report abuse

The WaPo continues to promote and glorify the complete list of talking points and issues of the DNC. It is amazing how well WaPo toes the party line. The old propagandists at Pravda would be happy to call WaPo scribes comrads.

The truth is that the folks at WaPo are die-hard liberals and they will continue to push their opinions until the last subscriber cancels.

Just like the congressional liberals that seem to be willing to follow the Obama bus off the cliff over HC deform in 2010.

Posted by: battleground51 | March 9, 2010 8:36 PM | Report abuse

It would be great, though unlikely, if one day the homophobes out there will be able to admit to themselves what it would really mean for them to promote The Golden Rule. Otherwise, we're stuck with this continuing cycle of self-denial and mean-spiritedness that we see coming out in some of these comments.

Posted by: dpclark | March 9, 2010 8:40 PM | Report abuse

I was a happily married man, with a beautiful wife and a loving home. We were together 9 years when the gay couple moved in across the street. They walked their dog and cut their grass, trying to be just like everyone else. Then...then...they planted flowers around their mailbox and shade trees and lilacs around their deck. In the fall they raked leaves and in the winter they shoveled snow off their driveway. Within 10 months, our marriage was in shambles. 2 years later, we divorced. All because of the gay couple across the street. Curse you, gay couple across the street!

Posted by: RabidRabbit | March 9, 2010 8:48 PM | Report abuse

I find it all so amusing that people want to hate the newspaper for publishing factual events in its own community; even things that offend our sensibilities. People forget - or maybe they never knew - that this is what the newspaper has always done historically. The idea that a newspaper only publishes what a "majority" of readers want to read is a complete fallacy.

For the small minded who believe it's the Post that's to blame for the ills of society, consider that homosexuality has been around since Old Testament times. And it'll be here long after the Post is gone - which hopefully won't be any time soon.

If the Post didn't publish, how would neocons know what to be angry about? Arguably, a neocon can't survive without an enemy. The "liberal" media (which really isn't all that liberal) seems to be the perfect foil.

Posted by: DinSeattle | March 9, 2010 8:49 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, WaPo, for supporting equal marriage for all citizens (well, to be precise, two-person and both-above-legal-age couples) who are in a loving relationship.
There will always be hatred in any society. But as long as we 'normal' people could stay vigilant and keep them on a leash, our civilization will not fall.

Posted by: rockalouise | March 9, 2010 8:54 PM | Report abuse

> shukov

>I guess Webster's might as well scrub perverse, according to the enlightened nothing is perverse. Maybe WaPo should put a picture of men throwing up tomorrow, equal time you know.

It's a perverse fact that "perverse" does not mean what you think it does. I'm fairly sure the word you had in mind was "perverted."

And, with regard to the photo: no, it isn't. Old, fat, rich men with 23-year old wives: that's perverted. Hollywood stars with marital commitments measured in weeks, and counted on fingers and toes: that's making a mockery of marriage. Pillars of society getting it on with prostitutes and/or in restrooms: that's both perverted AND mocking marriage. Two guys who want to promise publicly to care for each other? That's admirable.

Posted by: jdbosmaus | March 9, 2010 9:03 PM | Report abuse

How dare Ann Witty of Woodbridge be so presumptuous to claim she represents the views of the "majority of the readership." She doesn't represent this straight male reader, or anyone else I know. I thought the picture was of two joyful, happy people. We could use more of that on the front page as far as I'm concerned.

Posted by: Junior3 | March 9, 2010 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Equal rights for all!!!

I smile, with hope, when I think of the day when my now 10 yr. old daughter tells her children "You know, when I was little, some people thought that gays shouldn't have the right to be legally married." And shock her audience, just as they were shocked in history class when they were told that there was a time when people thought that the earth was flat.

I'm 41 and straight, BTW.

Posted by: VAcitizen | March 9, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

As a straight male, married, with three kids, I am proud to live in a time when another discrimination barrier is being erased. My wife and I talk openly about our support for gay marriage in front of our children. Pictures like this should be encouraged, for they generate discussion about societal change.

Posted by: cossack2 | March 9, 2010 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations Jeremy and Taka! I love the picture and am glad to have gotten to share vicariously in your joy and commitment to each other. May you have many many happy years of wedded bliss together.

Patrice from California

Posted by: MWRDPR | March 9, 2010 10:15 PM | Report abuse

So battleground51, whoever he or she is, says, "Most of us are totally disinterested in homosexuality and its manifestations. Many are downright hostile to it. Homosexual activists have their own publications. That's where their affairs belong." (I can only guess the writer means "uninterested".)
Well, maybe a lot of homosexuals are "totally disinterested in heterosexuality and its manifestations." Many more might be "downright hostile to it." Should the Washington Post hold back from showing heterosexuals kissing? I'm guessing the writer would say no. But then, I'm guessing that this writer is like so many other Americans who think that rights are only "rights" when they're talking about themselves; when some "other" group wants those same rights, then they aren't "rights" any more, they're "priveleges", or even "special priveleges".
You hear the same thing every year about Black History Month. "Why do those people get a 'special month' to talk about their history?" The unspoken implication here is, "Why can't they just be happy being second class citizens? We got rid of slavery. What more do those ingrates want?" It's pathetic. It isn't as if white people get short shrift in American history classes. It's the same with homosexuality. I can hear the unspoken implication here, too, which is "Jeez, we don't even beat you filthy gay people to death all that often any more. What more do you pushy people want rom us?"
Not that it matters, but I'm a white, straight guy. I'm married and have a 3 year old daughter. Homosexuals loving each other doesn't undermine my marriage or make me fear that it'll "turn" my little girl into a lesbian. Why can't people just wish those two guys the best of luck and get on with their lives?

Posted by: zarzamora | March 9, 2010 10:16 PM | Report abuse

wow. 27 cancellations. you guys must be hurting.

hey, i'd subscribe myself in support of your stiff upper lip, if your editorial page weren't full of crackpots defending torture and war crimes.

Posted by: t_parker16 | March 9, 2010 10:16 PM | Report abuse

Those fools can cancel their subscriptions if they want to shut out knowledge just like people have been doing for generations. The sad thing is that by "shielding their children" they perpetuate the cycle of hatred and exclusion that has come to define hetero-homosexual relations. Love is a beautiful thing and they are truly stupid for ignoring it. I'm sure we can find many more people who would be willing to subscribe to the Washington Post to counteract their childish civil disobedience. I might be one of them.

Posted by: scott84 | March 9, 2010 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Its nice to see that an ultra conservative paper like the Post has not forgotten that the news deserves to be reported as it happened, without slant and even when not the subject matter is not popular.

Much of the media in this country is unhealthy. It lies, it reports half truth and propaganda as legitimate news and in the process it fails us as a people.

Thanks for having the courage.

Posted by: keithontap | March 9, 2010 10:54 PM | Report abuse

This "normal" person doesn't have a problem with the photos. It's reality. I suggest the whiners get used to it, or go live in a cave.

Well done Mr. Alexander.

Posted by: JilliB | March 9, 2010 11:44 PM | Report abuse

Good for them. What really sucks is when the Microsoft cloud ad comes into view and crashes the browser. Run more Google ads, the pages load faster.

Posted by: tossnokia | March 10, 2010 12:04 AM | Report abuse

Thank you to the Post for publishing the photo right where it belonged: On the front page, with leading news stories about the real world.

For far too many years, gay people have been treated as though we are something less than full human beings and American citizens. We have to endure photos and so much more pounding into our heads the idea that heterosexuals are "normal" and that we are somehow not.

It's about time heterosexuals confront the fact that gay people love, have sex, marry, serve and sometimes die for their country, work hard, and seek to live in peace. Those are the things that make one "normal"--not sexual orientation.

Thanks again to the Post and for the ombudsman's correct, even courageous (in the face of the rants from those who are and will always be terrified of change and difference) response.

Posted by: ctgreek | March 10, 2010 12:10 AM | Report abuse

Well, considering this rag's tendency to promote war, torture, and right-wing demagogues (Sarah Palin on energy efficiency! Who was the AEI ghostwriter on that one?!?!), it's no surprise that there are some bigots among the readership. Anyone who finds the idea that people of the same sex and gender may express affection for each other is so repulsive that they will not countenance it in their field of vision can feel free to get their news from such fine institutions as Watchtower Magazine and the 700 Club.

How about some front-page pictures of the horrific consequences in the maternity wards of Fallujah, in the wake of our military's toxic bombardment of that city, as reported by the BBC last week? Maybe some of these "real men" (and women, bigotry knows no gender bounds) will begin to realize that there are sights far more vomit-inducing than two dudes happily exchanging a brief peck on the lips.

Posted by: Alex_S | March 10, 2010 12:37 AM | Report abuse

Ah Andrew defender of the politically correct, the trouble with the photograph is not that it is of two men kissing, but that it is so clearly staged. There is none of the exuberance you claim, no celebration of victory in a decades long fight. It is just two guys kissing, something that the photograph and the authors of the story staged to shock, an in your face to Virginia little old ladies of 65 years who have held their Post subscription since the '60s.

This photo and the one yesterday of the adoptive fathers and their little boy, shining and grinning at each other are staged to enforce a Post ethos of the wholesomeness of the now no longer gay lifestyle.

And that is wrong. A news photo needs to be candid and authentic, even when the subject themselves are trying to stage an event -- such as a political press conference. Here and with the adoptive family, the staging was not done by particpants but the photographs. And ill staged at that: bad staging makes it worse.

Posted by: krush01 | March 10, 2010 12:48 AM | Report abuse

I sit here, a closeted gay teenager from suburbia who is unable to even enunciate the word "gay" aloud. When it comes to my gay identity I feel afraid, marginalized and ashamed.
I hope for the day when things will be different, when I'll know what it is to be in a committed relationship, to feel accepted.

A couple of days ago, I saw the front page picture of the two men in an embrace. As I looked intently, my Mother peered over me to see what I was doing. Quickly, I grabbed the paper and hurried away, slamming the door to my room shut. I continued staring.

I felt pride, finally. More than pride, I realized that things are changing. Neither my religious parents nor my traditional upbringing will prevent me from engaging in the (cliche) "pursuit of happiness." I will fall in love, be in love, know what love is. Nobody will stop me.

Mr. Ombudsman, please don't forget about us. Stand tall in the face of unsubstantiated raw disgust.
And to the majority of the users who seemed to be on our side, thank you.

Posted by: ms7315 | March 10, 2010 1:19 AM | Report abuse

I'm writing from Texas, and as far as I'm concerned, I'll subscribe if you post MORE photos like this.

Let's get past the backwards homophobia. Shame on those who denigrate these photos!

Posted by: txvoodoo | March 10, 2010 1:24 AM | Report abuse

good grief ! that pic of a sweet little kiss drives some people into a frenzy of disgust and hatred ?!? how very sad. there are many things in this world that are upsetting but an expression of love between human beings is not one of them.
some folks are in serious need of some therapy.

Posted by: elpolacko | March 10, 2010 1:35 AM | Report abuse

I am so pleased with the open-mindedness of many of the readers who responded affirmatively to this blog. As a straight, 70-year-old women who grew up in San Francisco, I have been aware of homosexual and lesbian relationships for most of my adult life. I have no problems with any other person's sexual orientation (that's their business, not mine), and I take great delight in learning that people can marry, regardless of sexual orientation.

I do, however, take great exception to those among us who believe that they can speak for all Americans. For example, I found the following quotes quite disturbing (and much more disturbing that the picture that was shown in WaPo):

". . .was an affront to the majority of your readership."

". . . whose pure contempt for the values of the vast majority of Americans."

". . .the voters didn't approve of the homosexual law."

I am an native-born American, and no one -- I repeat, no one -- has the right to speak for me. The people who wrote the comments I have quoted are both arrogant and uninformed. You do not speak for all Americans, and there are states where voters support gay marriage.

Your comments are more of an affront to readers than any picture of two loving people kissing.

Posted by: marmac5 | March 10, 2010 1:43 AM | Report abuse

Every day I'm horrified and depressed by photos of carnage, wreckage, disaster etc etc - you know, the staples of the industry... because only "bad news" is good enough to be considered news-- quite often, if not most of the time. So, it was fantastic, refreshing to see love, affection, jubilation and yes, kissing, in a photo instead of death and destruction. Wonderful :D

No one says that photos and stories about Hugo Chavez is promoting Socialism - yet they say that same-sex kissing is "promoting" homosexuality? All I can say is: it's hard to admit that your Faith leaders have actually been teaching you lies and falsehoods, it must hurt, but face it: it's true.

Posted by: LawsLuvr | March 10, 2010 4:15 AM | Report abuse

There are men in this world who kiss women. There are men in this world who kiss men. There are women in this world who kiss men. There are women in this world who kiss women. GET OVER IT! If someone is foolish or bigoted enough to cancel a subscription of many decades for this reason, then that is his or her problem. The Washington Post logically reported on the new situation at the City Council. The Washington Post logically put a picture up to go with the story. The Washington Post logically chose a picture which illustrated the story well and with emotion. Thank you, Mr. Alexander, for your blog -- I lived in Washington in the late 1980s and was a great admirer of the Washington Post. I now live in Europe and remain a great admirer of it now.

Karlis Streips
Riga, Latvia

Posted by: streips | March 10, 2010 5:24 AM | Report abuse

I'm surprised by how many come out of the closet with their bigoted views so publicly. Every one of those people who complained about the photo are simply stupid. I'm glad they canceled their subscription. Screw them. They need to join reality and the 21st century. Grow up you idiots.

Posted by: Reality6 | March 10, 2010 5:42 AM | Report abuse

It is also a reality that blacks who make up about 12% of the population, committ close to 50% of the crime in the Country. Yet, the COMPOST goes way out of their way to ignore that news, and keep it off the front page. In otherwords, the post does not think it is newsworthy to point out how so few people are responsible for so much crime.

But, because they support gay marriage, which most Americans do not, they want to push the story they feel everyone wants to see. It's not big news that a liberal City Council voted in favor of gay marriage. Talk about living in a vacuum.

Posted by: irish031 | March 10, 2010 7:50 AM | Report abuse

Thank you for publishing this photo. It's a beautiful, touching moment between two adults who clearly love each other and who are celebrating their union. If we let the bigots run the world, we will all be worse off.

Posted by: andynnj | March 10, 2010 7:51 AM | Report abuse

I see. Some people are offended by the image of two people in love, but not by the torture apologia and vicious and traitourous smearing of the DOJ by the likes of Thiessen, Krauthammer, and Kristol.

I guess "moral values" have a different meaning for those so-called Christians.

Posted by: Gatsby10 | March 10, 2010 8:14 AM | Report abuse

I think it's a great little photo. I'm one of those who wouldn't say anything in the first place, because what's the big deal? It's two guys giving a cute kiss. It's not like you're going to "catch TEH GAY" from it. It's just two dudes.

I think the saddest part of it, is the people who use religion as the justification. I know, I know, your preacher done told you that the gays bring hellfire and brimstone and buttlube and oh god! The major religions for the most part, while telling us they're based on the tenets of love, as soon as it's not the type of love they like, they reject the person or worst.

Religion is the hypocritical disease that stalks America. You're supposed to love one another. If you actually read the stories, and don't just listen to a stupid preacher, rabbi or iman, you see that you're just supposed to treat other humans awesomely. That's it. Religion is just supposed to be a guide to treating humanity well, and so many people keep messing it up. Love one another. That's it. That's all. And so many people use it as a wedge to hurt.

That's the real tragedy this photo exposes. Religion informs people that it's okay to hate them and deny them rights. It's honestly sad.

Posted by: geedeck | March 10, 2010 8:15 AM | Report abuse

Well, turnabout is fairplay. I will cancel my subscription if you start publishing photos of people carrying weapons into Starbucks. Real men just bring their wallets.

Posted by: cbriskin | March 10, 2010 8:22 AM | Report abuse

Some subjects do not deserve discussion. This is one of them. The two men were not hurting anyone nor were they breaking the law. Furthermore, the picture was a striking way of illustrating an important move forward in the battle for equal rights for all in this country. So, yes, react negatively if you wish, but take some time to think and realize that your opinion is not only misguided but WRONG and do your best to try to become better and more open=minded in the future.

No, it was not wrong to publish that picture. This was so obvious that further discussion was not needed.

Posted by: nyrunner101 | March 10, 2010 8:28 AM | Report abuse

Good Morning WaPo and Andy. You just earned yourself a new subscriber. I may live in Texas, but I'd be happy to buy a years subscription for one year to take the place of someone who was offended enough to cancel.

Its 2010 people, every American should have the right to marry or love whomever they want. Its a basic right that all Americans should be entitled.

Posted by: flyat37k | March 10, 2010 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Real men and real Americans know that supporting the Bill of Rights is the right thing to do.

Posted by: irish031 | March 10, 2010 8:45 AM | Report abuse

I think it is a beautiful picture - as are all of the other pictures and videos that have been published in recent days of committed couples finally able to have their relationship recognized by law. Love is beautiful and the pictures of these couples, many of whom have waited years to be able to do something that is their fundamental right made me misty eyed.

Posted by: kpelli73 | March 10, 2010 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Add me to the list of new subscribers!

Posted by: kym101009 | March 10, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Yes, whatever you do, don't publish a photo showing two consenting adults engaged in a loving relationship. God forbid children be exposed to that.

Bigots, fundamentalists, Bible-thumpers, and other prudes: enjoy casting about your hatred in your dwindling twilight years. We'll be laughing at your outdated views soon enough.

- The Future

Posted by: elliequent | March 10, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

While I am not a fan of the lifestyle, I support those who live it, whether by instinctive need or by choice. For those who do not wish to see it, don't make it an issue and it won't become a challenge. Whichever tact the Post was taking by placing the picture on page one was the right one. If it was placed there for controversy, it worked. If it was placed there to report a major social, political and judicial event for the District, it was correct. America needs to get away from the "majority rules" mentallity and start supporting individual rights as set forth in the Constitution.

Posted by: kenusmellit | March 10, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

I wish I hadn't read this article. It makes me sick to know that I live in a world with so many bigots.

Posted by: grossy2 | March 10, 2010 9:22 AM | Report abuse

The responses to this beautiful photo offer more clear evidence of how far our culture has progressed. If you had run this photo 30 or 40 years ago, the outcry would have been enormous and overwhelmingly negative. Today, outside of a few barely literate throwbacks desperately clinging to their irrational prejudices, the response is overwhelmingly positive. It's this sweeping change that gives me the greatest optimism for the future. My subscription will continue far into that future.

Posted by: DeaconMac | March 10, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Well, I loved the picture and am very proud that WaPo put it front cover...I'm not a current print subscriber and I will also happily replace one of those that you lost. You don't want their business anyway!

Posted by: aleksandrarogers | March 10, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

I remember when growing up in the 1970's seeing on the front page of the NY Daily News the children fleeing a napalm attack, the horrible image of that young girl running naked and hysterical towards the camera. I would consider that much worse for children to see rather than a photo of two men who just got married kissing each other.

Posted by: johnozed | March 10, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

I am grateful to the Post for capturing and sharing this moment of simple joy at a momentous juncture of our civil rights history. It is amazing that anything so beautiful and innocent could engender so much hullaballou. I also appreciate the Ombudsman sharing the guff and invective he received. It helps remind us how many hearts and minds we still must win over.

Posted by: mikhastur | March 10, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

So a few retrograde hillbillies got their panties in a wad over the photo? Big deal, they're nearly extinct.

Posted by: fluxgirl | March 10, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Funny, all these people writing in complaining about how seeing a photo of two guys kissing makes them sick to their stomach and makes them want to vomit. Their ignorance and hate is much more disgusting and makes me want to vomit!

I'm so sick of people using their children as a crutch for things to not be in the news. If you were a good parent you would monitor what your children can and can't see, end of story. This was a groundbreaking moment and absolutely deserved front page coverage. Bravo DC and the WP!

Posted by: RyanS323 | March 10, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

"News photos capture reality."

No doubt. And according to your own quotes, people were not objecting to the photo being in the paper. They were objecting it to being on the front page. And since customers are always right ....

How about an update in a week on how many new subscribers you received versus drops in subscribers/box sales?

Posted by: boone_mtn_man | March 10, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

I just subscribed to the paper for the first time since I moved out here 6 years ago BECAUSE of this! Keep the haters hating, WaPo!

Posted by: melissa4033 | March 10, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

To ajackson3 who trotted out the bible quotes that supposedly condemn homosexulaity, I would ask why you pick and choose some bible quotes over others. Why are you not equally offended by photos of people wearing mixed fiber clothing? The bible says that, too, is an abomination (Deuteronomy 22:11), you know? And are you protesting Red Lobster? Shellfish should not be eaten according to parts of the bible. I am amazed that anyone would be offended by a photo of two people showing loving affection for each other. Is that really what your religion is all about? Is that what cherry-picked quotes from the bible has caused?

Posted by: RonGeatz | March 10, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

There's not one thing suggestive about the photo. In many cultures, it's perfectly normal for two heterosexual men to kiss like that. Readers who complained were not offended by the contents of the photo but by the story behind it.

Posted by: gregandrew | March 10, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

About the photo of two men kissing after they got marriage license in DC last Wednesday: "In comments to the ombudsman’s call-in line, one reader said, '... I do not like it right there where I can’t avoid looking at it.'”

That's right, buddy, you can't avoid looking at it. It's real. It's here. 'Time to get used to it.

Posted by: Enufffromu | March 10, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

I'm sick of those so-called 'Christians' who condemn the happiness of others. 2000 years ago they were thrown to the lions - I cannot understand how Christians (and all those other hypocrite religious fanatics) became so full of hate to frantically pursue the torturing, maiming, burning and/or killing of other minorities - or deny them equal rights. Isn't that why America was founded in the first place? Live and let live!
I have been happily married to my husband for 6 years now - in The Netherlands. It's time for America to stick to their Constitution! 'All people are created equal - with liberty and justice for all' - but I guess some bigots feel that some people are more equal than others!

Posted by: rpolak | March 10, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Most complainants in the ombudsman's piece state that the "controversial" picture belongs inside the paper and not on its cover so that they wouldn't have to look at it. All that shows is that these folks aren't actually reading the paper beyond its front page; perhaps if they read deeper, they would cease to be the ignorant reactionaries they have presented themselves to be in this article.

Posted by: bv2112 | March 10, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

It's heartening to read the mostly positive comments here. There is so much hate and fear disguised as religious conviction and "traditional values" bandied about that's its easy to forget how much progress is being made. Still a long way to go, but there will always be haters filled with so much bitterness about their own lives that they can't abide seeing images of other people happy.

It all comes down to love, and to respecting others. This is cause for celebration in Washington, DC, and eventually it will be the law of the land all over the USA. I await that day eagerly.

Posted by: bandit1972 | March 10, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

I have never had a subscription to a newpaper before, always choosing to read online. Both your choice to report on this historic event and publish the picture as well as your response to the complaints has forced me to reconsider. I am subscribing today. As a straight ally to the LGBT community I am proud of our city and this paper.

Posted by: dizzabeth1 | March 10, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

jdbosmaus wrote:

--It's a perverse fact that "perverse" does not mean what you think it does. I'm fairly sure the word you had in mind was "perverted."--

I meant perverse, but thanks for your input.

willfully determined or disposed to go counter to what is expected or desired; contrary.
characterized by or proceeding from such a determination or disposition: a perverse mood.
wayward or cantankerous.
persistent or obstinate in what is wrong.
turned away from or rejecting what is right, good, or proper; wicked or corrupt.

- Hope this helps

Posted by: shukov | March 10, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

USA is quite behind the times in comparison to Europe in this regard. It is embarrassing. Hopefully the rest of America will now follow suit so we can stop looking like cave people in ths regard.

Posted by: Todd17 | March 10, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Maybe we should call Ann Witty...
Her phone number is available by checking online address/phone number websites.

Posted by: roypeterson | March 10, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Anything that would upset the Pope or Republicans or Baptists or Muslims, I totally support. I am going directly to your subscription page to subscribe.
K. W. Frederick, Md.

Posted by: kmwa | March 10, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Kudos to the Post and to its ombudsman for noting the objections and yet refusing to be cowed by them. (I also rather appreciated that many of the objectors were identified by name; it's nice to know exactly who the bigots are among us.) History is messy ... it can't (and shouldn't) be revised to suit the sensibilities of all who witness it.

It pains me that a significant number of readers find a photo of a loving and joyful couple to be offensive; for my own part, I'm offended by their hidebound devotion to intolerance. But it's gratifying to see that the Post is reporting and depicting what is, by any reasonable measure, a historic piece of news. Keep up the good work.

Posted by: SwingsetAbby | March 10, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

I love the picture of the two men kissing. If all you lost was 27 subscriptions no problem.

Posted by: danhall | March 10, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

What a cute couple!

And just to piss off the usual suspects (Republicans/conservatives/evangelicals/oldsters/Bible thumpers/baptist preachers of all colors/jerks), I shall kiss men firmly on the mouth at all times. Especially in Virginia.

Posted by: jaysit | March 10, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

I might subscribe just to spite that 65-year-old bigot. My mother is 58 and has supported me whole-heartedly since the day I came out, despite her family's bigoted attitudes. 65 years with your head stuck in the sand is just sad.

Posted by: matthewburlingame | March 10, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Dear Christians who bring out their bibles to illustrate how wrong this picture, and homosexuality in general, is:

1) We live in a country where church and state are separate. That means ALL religious people will at some point have their beliefs offended, no matter what the religion.

2) One reader mentioned how hard photos like this make it to raise one's child as if the bible were nonfiction. You will run into difficulties that are a LOT worse than this one. Like for example, explaining the fossil record.

3) So many "christians" give others a bad name. Why memorize only those verses which suit your own political agenda? What about pride being a capital sin? Doesn't condemning someone else's lifestyle indicate that you believe your are morally superior and worthy of more? What about it being God's job, not yours, to judge?

4) Guess what. There are a lot of Christian homos out there. And you know what happens when you try to keep it under wraps? Things like this:

5) I love seeing happy news. This is HAPPY news.

Posted by: ISBN | March 10, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse


Hang on to that sense of pride you felt upon seeing the Post photo. I hope with all my heart that your family can learn to love and accept you for who you are ... but should that turn out to be a bridge too far for them, know that there are millions of us who stand ready to embrace you when you're ready to step out of the closet.

Peace to you.

Posted by: SwingsetAbby | March 10, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

@Beingsensible: Finally, someone understands the message of God. Alleluia!

Posted by: shylaheells | March 10, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

To "ajackson3":

I too am a Christian, a follower of Jesus, a reader and believer of the Bible; AND know that our God loves and cares for our gay brothers and sisters exactly the way they are.

Too often current day preachers perpetuate past anti-homosexual societal prejudices under the false pretense that they are preaching God's Word, when in reality it is their own prejudices and blindness to God's Word.

Posted by: scobi | March 10, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

@ms7315- your comment is the reason why printing this photo is so important.

Posted by: WickedRose | March 10, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Someone should tell ole Ann Witty that if the world is spinning too fast for her, she can always take a dirt nap...

Posted by: LABC | March 10, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Kudos to WAPO for not shying away from reality and for standing by that decision. I personally think that it is preposterous that people are up in arms for such a harmless photograph. Photographs of body bags should illicit more emotion than a couple kissing, and yet people become so wrapped in their “moral” outrage they completely lose sight of what is really being captured. What was captured was a moment a joy for a couple, whom I hope are very happy and safe regardless of this ridiculous firestorm. The photograph was not pornography or propaganda but rather a documentation of what is going on in the world. There is no reason why a kiss should be hidden in the back pages, nor should it be shunned out in public.

I don’t even live in DMV anymore but I might subscribe just to counteract this utter ridiculousness.

Posted by: mrszilla | March 10, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse


Hang on to that sense of pride you felt upon seeing the Post photo. I hope with all my heart that your family can learn to love and accept you for who you are ... but should that turn out to be a bridge too far for them, know that there are millions of us who stand ready to embrace you when you're ready to step out of the closet.

Peace to you.
Posted by: SwingsetAbby | March 10, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Amen. You have nothing to be ashamed of and (when you are ready) I hope you are able to live an open and proud life with love and happiness.

Posted by: mrszilla | March 10, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Great photo of love on Planet Earth, not Planet Heterosexual anymore in D.C., thankfully!

Posted by: twohusbands | March 10, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Thank you WaPo for publishing the photo of the couple kissing...they are adorable.

The photo makes me wonder what people would have written back in 1964 when my parents were married. My father is White and my mother is Asian. Interracial marriages weren't legally recognized by the Federal Government until June 12, 1967 - three years after my parents were married. Thankfully my parents married in spite of negative views by the general public...and their own parents.

One would think that 40-plus years after the Supreme Court struck down all laws against interracial marriage that the American public wouldn't give a second thought about gay marriage.

I am hopeful that we won't have to wait another 40 years until gay marriage is treated with the same regard as interracial marriage.

Thanks again WaPo for publishing the photo of the gay couple celebrating their marriage license application. Your journalistic integrity is to be admired. I am hopeful that other media outlets will follow your lead.

Posted by: hopper1965 | March 10, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

The best illustration yet of why open homosexuals are totally unsuitable for military service.

DADT will never be repealed.

Posted by: Armyvet4 | March 10, 2010 7:26 PM | Report abuse

“if I see another photo of men lip-locking.”

That's supposed to be a lip-lock? That's a peck! /Maybe/ a smooch! It's a long way from lip-locking and even further from face-sucking. Geez, if you're going to complain about kissing, either know the correct terminology or refer to it by the general term of "kissing." Otherwise you just sound ignorant.

(Somebody call the Whaaaaambulance! Gay people exist! Help, help, I'm being repressed!)

Posted by: KindraGresham | March 10, 2010 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Washington Post Ombudsman, reporters, editors ... none of you will risk your careers, so I'll speak for (some of) you. The front page photo of the two homosexuals kissing was hands-down the most repulsive, revolting, disgusting (etc., ad infinitum) photo ever displayed on the front page of any major American newspaper in the history of the country. But on the brighter side it may have the unintended consequence of stopping the repeal of DADT.

Posted by: Armyvet4 | March 10, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for writing a reply to those who complained about the photo. My grandma couldn't understand how to different races could marry-yet now no one blinks an eye over interracial dating. My 11 year old niece has friends who have 2 mommies and doesn't see why adults are so up in arms.

I thought it was a sweet photo of a couple in love, and after having front page articles of war and earthquake victims is a nice change. As the Post writes, it's legal and it's historic moment.

As for the people who think this will help stop the repeal of DADT..that's like saying a photo of a heterosexual couple kissing helps prove that men and women can't serve in the military together.

Posted by: heatherfeather1 | March 10, 2010 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Hahahaha. Oh I'm sorry, I didn't realize this was the Heterosexual Post, I thought it was the Washington Post. My mistake.
I guess I should look elsewhere for NEWS COVERAGE of historical civil rights events in...wait for it....WASHINGTON.

Posted by: hrgreen | March 10, 2010 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Involuntarily glanced at like a bad accident.

Posted by: Armyvet4 | March 10, 2010 8:36 PM | Report abuse

It's not gay couples marrying that's wrong with this society, it's those 27 subscribers who recoil when seeing those couples kiss.

Posted by: south_dude89 | March 10, 2010 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Shouldn't we be PROMOTING happy, health couples? Especially in a time of war when families are torn apart by long distance relationships and PTSD? I say, if they are a happy and well adjusted couple, I don't care if they are green, blue, gay, black, yellow, or avatars, I want people to be exposed to healthy relationships and positive role models, both of which come in hetero- and homosexual partnerships.

Posted by: angelalinhardt | March 10, 2010 10:01 PM | Report abuse

To all of my Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender friends - Thank you for NEVER threatening to cancel your subscription to any form of media that has published tender displays of affection by heterosexuals. You should be applauded for the tolerance you have exhibited for all these years!

I am Straight, but not Narrow; )

Posted by: True2Self | March 10, 2010 10:08 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: koset1 | March 10, 2010 10:46 PM | Report abuse

I have just subscribed my house of grad students to Sunday delivery of the Washington Post as a result of reading this article. Thanks for doing the right thing!

Posted by: scienceisfun | March 11, 2010 12:02 AM | Report abuse

I'm subscribing, too, because of the photo. Great job!

Posted by: lrw2 | March 11, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

There was no nudity displayed in the picture. No inappropriate touching. The kiss wasn't even open mouthed. The uproar about this picture is simply about the fact that it made bigots uncomfortable.

I say good riddance to the 27 people who cancelled their subscriptions. You don't want to see or read about real life? There's a copy of the Weekly World News waiting for you at the checkout line at the grocery store. Perhaps a picture of the Bat Boy is more to your liking?

Posted by: feasors | March 11, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Seems like all the WaPo has to do is put big, color pictures of homosexuals smooching to get lots of new homosexual subscribers. Maybe that's the only way the WaPo can get new subscribers.

I'm sorry! I failed to see the desperation of the WaPo situation. I guess you gotta do what you gotta do.

I hear that FOX NEWS is a real hot place to go for news. Maybe I'll visit them more often.

Posted by: battleground51 | March 11, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Seems like all the WaPo has to do is put big, color pictures of homosexuals smooching to get lots of new homosexual subscribers. Maybe that's the only way the WaPo can get new subscribers.

I'm sorry! I failed to see the desperation of the WaPo situation. I guess you gotta do what you gotta do.

I hear that FOX NEWS is a real hot place to go for news. Maybe I'll visit them more often.

Posted by: battleground51
How old are you? Ten?

Posted by: feasors | March 11, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Dear Washington Post:

I am a fan of the Redskins. Please stop all those offensive photos depicting them losing, especially the big color photos on the front page of the sports section. Those are an affront to real Redskins fans, who do not want to be reminded of how things are going down the tubes.

Posted by: brentakeith | March 11, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

I think maybe this country wouldn't have so many problems if people focused more on what's going on in their own home instead of picking on other people. I wonder what kind of life a person is leading when they have nothing better to do than threaten a newspaper just because they print something that they don't like. Not to mention, who do they really think they are? Somebody very obviously needs to get life... and quickly. My sister is into women and she is the most wonderful sister a woman could ever have. On the other hand my straight sister married my ex-husband and was dating him only two weeks after he and I separated and my mother thinks my straight sister is just perfect and can do no wrong while my other sister is supposedly going straight to hell. I just honestly don't understand what this world has come to. I think it's an awesome photo and I would be willing to bet that their relationship will last longer than most.

Posted by: lisarenee1 | March 11, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Dear Washington Post,

I am a bitter, single woman who hates seeing photos of anything fluffy, cute, any form of PDA, small children and animals, anything positive dealing with human society, good deeds, and anything that involves the following colors - pink, white, light blue, light green, green, lavender, and yellow. Please remove all of those from the paper as well.

Posted by: ddalk2 | March 11, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

wow are you people walking around with your heads in the ground? the gay/lesbian population has been loud and strong in dc for a long time! nothing new! go walk around dupont circle or some of the bars on u street! or heck any street for that matter.

i have my personal opinions but why is everyone so shocked?

Posted by: nall92 | March 11, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

For those who don't like it, I think the Washington Times is hurting for subscribers like you. Good riddance.

Posted by: rtaylor3 | March 11, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

"If all printers were determined not to print anything till they were sure it would offend nobody, there would be very little printed." - Benjamin Franklin

Thank you so much for posting this article and picture on your front page. It is a beautiful picture, and gives me hope that my state, Colorado, will follow suit some day!

Posted by: SmallWorldCM | March 11, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

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).”
Hey Lee, your kids are exposed to a lot more disturbing things than this picture. Like your bigotry for example. Poor kids.

Posted by: feasors | March 11, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

No matter how much you shove gay and lesbian issues in our face the vast majority are disgusted by it and its a natural response to an abnormal behavior. the only reason the gays and lesbians have received preferential treatment and rights is because of Political correctness which they use to promote their agenda far beyond equality. If it wasn't for PC they will never be allowed to marry as it is never the interest of the child. As a therapist with dozens of patients who are gay they are simply not fit to be parents. They voice it in the sessions, almost all of them prefer to be straight and many stated they are not fit to be parents.
TStudies showed that stable homes consist of honesty and fidelity. While fidelity is not at a great point among hetrosexuals, with 21% admitting to extra marital sex Gay men claim to 65% infidelity and out of the remaining 35% only 25%claim to fidelity. This is above and beyond studies that showed negative effects on the child including, increased suicidal rates, drug abuse and most common social inadequecies (children of same sex parents have higher rate of social problems and decreased ability to form hetrosexual relations.
We don't need to prove if and how a picture of gay men is affecting a child or if we need to be accustomed to it.. we don't. The bottom line is that this must stop. If it was not for the hetrosexual community and or for serogate mothers etc and if gays acted as their natural attraction dictates they will be a very small minority in 1-2 generations due to natural lack of procreation. The fact they married and adopt and bring children is only because they interact with and rely upon the hetrosexual community and continuously try to imitate a normal behavior, form "families" etc. Homosexuality doesn't increase in ratio in nature, it is a common limited abnormality no more.. gay male animals rarely procreate. By having to hide it their sexuality for generations many "cheated" themselves and married and procreated making many many more who had to live a life of lying to themselves. It is a shame that it developed as it did but I think we reached a point where we need to say enough. They have every right and many are very talented but adopting kids and marrying is not what nature intended for. Live and share life with us but don't try to imitate a family and be selfish by adopting or bringing a child into that, get a dog e won't need to become a father or learn how to treat a wife. we push the limits far too much with trying to accommodate everyone, whats next padofiles? or bigamists? they make an adult decision so if gays can why can't bigamists? I think you got the point.

Posted by: Dealwiththetruth | March 11, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

@Dealwiththetruth, I'd like to see your sources for this information. I find it hard to believe your statistics are accurate. Nor do I feel your thoughts on how a child is affected by this photo, or by being raised by two men has truth to it. Furthermore, nature didn't "intend" for anyone to get married, it's a cultural thing, not a natural thing. As far as you being a therapist, shouldn't you be staying neutral rather than stereotyping by saying every gay person is unfit to be a parent. It is ridiculous to suggest that homosexual couples are anything like pedophiles. Additionally, I feel that you are doing a disservice to your clients by treating them when you don't have an objective point of view on their life. It seems very apparent that you don't support the community at all. For those of your clients who say they "wish they were straight," that is DEFINITELY not the majority of gay men in the world. How dare you presume to think that a handful of your "patients" (still not convinced you're really a therapist at all) represent the entire LGTB community? If you truly are a therapist then I question your qualifications and strongly suggest you resign from your profession as you are not ethically able to fulfill your duties in an objective manner. Either that, or refer LGTB clients to someone who does not have a biased opinion.

Posted by: SmallWorldCM | March 11, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

As a hetero guy, people bothered by this photo need to get a Americans are equal citizens and we are a free society unlike Saudi Arabia and Iran where gays are hunted down.
A black man and white woman kissing would've received the same reaction from bigots just until recently

Posted by: Civilius | March 11, 2010 8:13 PM | Report abuse

The legalization of gay marriage in Washington, D.C., *is* front-page news, and the photo merely underscored that fact. I would have been disappointed in _The Washington Post_ had its staff not run the story on p. 1.

Setting aside the newsworthiness issue, it remains a sad day when any photo of two people in love is discussed with revulsion and loathing.

Posted by: lbridgewater68 | March 11, 2010 11:00 PM | Report abuse

I can not believe that a mere photo of two people kissing can bring out such ugly, hateful comments in people. Hello? It's love. Plain and simple. Get over it.

Posted by: hephaiston | March 12, 2010 3:53 AM | Report abuse

One of the amusing things about visiting my gay friend in DC is walking around Capitol Hill with him, and so many times, a vanilla married couple walks by, the guy looking conspicuously away, and ten steps past my buddy elbows me and giggles "had him, hot bottom". To all of the panty-bunched homophobes spewing your mindless bile here, you would be very dismayed to know just how many of the people servicing your petty worldviews are, deep down, exactly what you fear most. Oh, and if your Glod-hates-fags so much, then why oh why does he keep making them? Silly silly people you are, hurry along to heaven please.

Posted by: schnoggiah | March 12, 2010 6:07 AM | Report abuse

It's tough for people to let go of their bigotry. Way to go Washington Post for reporting the news as it is, and not cow-towing to people's darker nature.

Love is love, and it should offend no one. (And I say this as a heterosexual male.) If it does, they have every right to try to hide from reality, but not to impose their views on the rest of us.

I have gone down to just Sunday delivery, but I think I will go back to daily!

Posted by: dougenglish | March 12, 2010 7:24 AM | Report abuse

Law School Graduates who can't get a job should rejoice. There is a new speciality with growth potential for members of the DC Bar, gay and lesbian divorce law. Will gays and lesbians be able to just fill out a form and get the same simple uncontested divorce a straight couple can get? We shall see. Has anyone thought of this great DC opportunity before?

Posted by: eyemakeupneeded1 | March 12, 2010 8:46 AM | Report abuse

@dealwiththetruth - You're a therapist? That’s much more frightening than the photograph that inspired this article.

Anywho, being a recent transplant from San Francisco I am so pleased to be here for this wonderful milestone, one we still haven’t been able to achieve back there. Kudos to the District, its enlightened residents and the Post - and good riddance to Anne Witty and her ilk.

Posted by: markasf | March 12, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

@ms7315 - 'a closeted gay teenager from suburbia who is unable to even enunciate the word "gay" aloud' - KUDOS to you for engaging with the community beyond suburbia and making your own decisions! I was very much like you not so many years ago in suburban Pennsylvania. Relentlessly bullied and harassed throughout 12 years of Catholic school - at times thinking I would never make it through – but I did. It is your generation, filled with strong, proud, intelligent, compassionate young people like yourself who will be the ones to relegate bigotry and discrimination of gay people to the pages of history. The world will be a better place because of you. You should be extremely proud of yourself for your courage, keep it up and one day your mother (and the world) will see that courage and be proud of you too. All the best to you.

Posted by: markasf | March 12, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

It never fails to catch my eye when a social conservative is outraged by "my kids being exposed to the gay agenda" or some similar phrase. News Flash: There's about a 5% chance that any one of your kids is gay. If you've got three kids, there's a 15% chance that one of them is gay. And if a woman bears more than two sons, the chances that the later ones are gay goes up significantly. This last fact is particularly concerning, since families with greater than two children are more apt to be socially conservative. A gay son growing up in such an environment is apt to suffer all manner of emotional damage, at worst resulting in attempting suicide. These are your kids, people. Take a half hour and educate yourself about the issue. Your gay children will be much the better for it.

Posted by: jwchenard | March 12, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

I'm gay, but I don't have a copy of "the agenda". Can anyone send me a copy?

Since all conservatives seem to know about this agenda and have plenty of copies lying around this shouldn't be a problem to provide.

Thanks ahead of time! :-)

Posted by: mzkatheryn | March 12, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

YIP YAP, YIP YAP, from the religious class!

I believe in God, just not your intolerant and hateful God of fables. Homosexuality exists in humans as well as the animal kingdom.

Did God make a mistake there too?? Th..Th...The bible smible. It is a book written by man that an all powerful being as God does not need to have written down by mere ignorant and uncivilized human beings.

Keep your "Christian" values to yourself, as I don't want my children, friends, and family listening to your hypocritical ranting and raving about your evil God.

America is and always will be A SECULAR NATION!! That means any religion or non beliefs, IE Christianity, Muslim, Islam, Hindu, Buddhist, Catholicism, Atheist, etc...

The religious class has been the cause of the world's ills and wars and I for one would endorse a NEW Constitutional Amendment, amending the 1st Amendments Religion clause, to outright ban ALL religions.

Of course you can privately worship your own God, but publically N O !!! NO signs no speeches, no t.v time, etc....

God doesn't give a rats you know what about your religion. All that the true God cares about is if you "loved everyday no matter what!"

The religious class's "Mark of the Beast" is their "religion"...basically the whole world idolatrizes it. What a brilliant way for evil to take the good from a soul.

God loves all, even those that hate him/her. So get over yourselves. You kiddies know more about gays than you do and could care less. They're more educated!


Posted by: cboy2dezrat | March 12, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

"This is a country where the WILL OF THE MAJORITY IS THE LAW, and ought to be the law." - Thomas Jefferson

Posted by: Armyvet4 | March 12, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Get a GRIP, people! This is not the end of the world as we know it.

Rush Limbaugh leaving town because of health legislation is the beginning of the end of the world as we know it.

Posted by: scottmp | March 12, 2010 10:13 PM | Report abuse

hey Dealwiththetruth,

Ever heard of "Reaction Formation"??

If you have not, go ask Idaho Senator Larry Craig or California State Senator Roy Ashburn about it... and then deal with that truth!

Posted by: plaza04433 | March 12, 2010 10:35 PM | Report abuse

schnoggiah wrote:

""To all of the panty-bunched homophobes spewing your mindless bile here, you would be very dismayed to know just how many of the people servicing your petty worldviews are, deep down, exactly what you fear most.""

Yep! Approximately -ALL of them! LOL!

Posted by: plaza04433 | March 12, 2010 10:42 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: WilliamBlake | March 12, 2010 10:43 PM | Report abuse

Today, photo images of same-sex couples capture the same reality of societal change.
Or fractured society? There is a very real and growing friction & animosity between different segments and classes of the population.

Posted by: WilliamBlake | March 12, 2010 10:48 PM | Report abuse

I'm gay, but I don't have a copy of "the agenda". Can anyone send me a copy?

Since all conservatives seem to know about this agenda and have plenty of copies lying around this shouldn't be a problem to provide.

Thanks ahead of time! :-)

Contact the Rockefellers. They have extra copies. Be patient they are very busy. They are stage managing the homosexual movement as well as the Feminist. And Planned Parenthood.
Besides running the country thru the Trilateral Commission and CFR and hundreds of other organisations they finance.

Posted by: WilliamBlake | March 12, 2010 10:55 PM | Report abuse

Forty years ago newspaper readers were similarly outraged by photographs of mixed race couples kissing. It will take time for people to learn tolerance and acceptance. Congratulations to all the D.C. newlyweds.

Posted by: kculcan | March 13, 2010 4:58 AM | Report abuse

Many of us do not want to view religious iconography either but we are forced to "accept" it. The same with homosexuality. It doesn't matter if you "accept" it or not. Homosexuals are not going anywhere so deal with it or stay your ass at home.

Posted by: jeffersontao | March 13, 2010 5:26 AM | Report abuse

How does this harm children? Many parents believe the Bible means what it says. Some sexual behavior is forbidden. That does not make those who engage in it horrible, unlovable people. But not engaging in it is what we are to strive, with God's help, to do. That does not just include homosexuality, but homosexuality is certainly part of it. These are values parents seek to teach their children, and I believe have a right to teach their children. To scoff at that is to trivialize this point, and is to deny parents their parental rights to teach their children values - and give that right instead to government, society, etc. Putting photos where people can find them if they want to view them is one thing, but putting them on front page where they must be viewed by all is another.

Posted by: pawprints54 | March 13, 2010 8:16 AM | Report abuse

I would rather see this pic on the front page ,,than too see all the distruction in this World,,and all the Hatered,that has been posted everwhere,,,So,Everyone deserves to have Rights,,No matter what.

Posted by: mal62193 | March 13, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Gay “marriage” is difficult to understand as a concept. The argument for it is this: “ I’m Dick. I want to pretend Bill is my wife. Bill wants to pretend to be my wife. I want you to accept and believe our fantasy. If you do not believe our fantasy then you are a homo-phobe and bigot. I want the courts to force you to accept my fantasy”. Only liberals and democrats can agree with this as a legal or logical argument.

Posted by: jaguar6cy | March 13, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

I created the following poll about this article.

It bothers me.

Does this photo of two gay men kissing make you feel uncomfortable?

Posted by: tonystamos | March 13, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

I don't much want to see any combination of sexes slobbering over each other, having more energetic sexual intercourse, defecating or dribbling in their soup.

That said, if it's OK for male/female or female/female, anyone who then objects to male/male should ponder their own perversion.

Posted by: observer100 | March 13, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

I have NO PROBLEM whatsoever with my eight-year old seeing an image as tame and realistic as this.

It's one thing if you object to public displays of affection, which I would hope you would impose on hetero displays of affection just as fervently. What's good for the goose, is good for the gander.

And given the significance of the event, I think it was more than appropriate to celebrate the occasion and a picture of a happy couple is the least that the Post could do to capture one of the simple joys in life.

Posted by: mabkhar | March 13, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Military honchos: Take a look at these two weirdos and extrapolate it to American military installations if DADT is repealed. They'll claim that if a man and wife can embrace and kiss, then they should be able to do the same.

Posted by: Armyvet4 | March 13, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

The most homophobic people I've met in my life turned out to be gay in the end. Something to think about.

Posted by: creek2000 | March 13, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

Well, it's a good thing the COMPLAINERS aren't getting what THEY want, least we aren't seeing pictures of people KISSING SOMEONES ASS!!!




Posted by: pognyc | March 14, 2010 12:29 AM | Report abuse

This is the most backward country in the world. If it's possible then it simply is! Why do we think it so bad that a man loves a man or a women love a women? We need to stick to our own personal beliefs and not judge others. Christ did not go around bashing gays he simply said do the next "right" thing to the next human. I think it's sicking how fat people get, but I would never in a million years say anything or do anything to a person who eats 4 times as much as they should. it's their problem or desire...not mine. Stop all your complaining, you bigots. I have no business telling others what's right and wrong, each of us is entitled to our freedom of choice.

Posted by: Novacancy13 | March 14, 2010 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Get a Room!

Posted by: mlimberg | March 14, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Well done Washington Post staff. Thanks for having the backbone to place that delightful photo on the front page which is where it belonged.

I'm so tired of this whole homophobic mess and the idea that seeing two men or two women kiss will contaminate our children. If I understand correctly, then there is no damage done by parents having affairs, cheating with 'ponzi' schemes, physically and verbally abusing each other, falsifying IRS returns etc.

What is wrong with two people wanting to make a legal, long term commitment to each other? If they can fight and die for our country, generate revenue through creating companies and paying income taxes, preserve our safety and security as police and firemen, and save lives as doctors and nurses then why can't they enjoy the same legal rights as everyone else.

In my eyes what is in their hearts is more important than their gender, their race, or their nationality and they have only God to answer to in the end. Many in this country need to have a quiet 'heart to heart' with themselves about hypocrisy...

Posted by: kpinchworth | March 14, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

I have no qualms with the picture. If it was of two FAT, straight people I would have been DISGUSTED however. Keep the fat people off the front page. FAT PEOPLE ARE SOOOO GROSS and DESPICABLE!!!!

Two people in love and kissing is fine as long as they aren't fat.

See, anyone can come up with something arbitrary to hate. It's very easy.

Posted by: weisserj | March 14, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

"We're Queer, We're Here, Get Use To It!"

It seems so passe' to me.
I got kids and an old lady...
I also have to pay the house, for heating oil, gasoline and go to work etc...
Blah, blah, blah....
The haters and socialists who want to control the lives of others
should move to North Korea. They like that over there.
It seems to me there are still a lot of people
who never grew up and they're pushing 50 by now.
Simpletons really...
Andy don't take any "baloney" from anyone
just because you got a few more IQ points then the rest of these haters.
Love and Peace baby

Posted by: steve_real | March 14, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse


"Gay “marriage” is difficult to understand as a concept. The argument for it is this: “ I’m Dick. I want to pretend Bill is my wife. Bill wants to pretend to be my wife. I want you to accept and believe our fantasy. If you do not believe our fantasy then you are a homo-phobe and bigot. I want the courts to force you to accept my fantasy”. Only liberals and democrats can agree with this as a legal or logical argument."


Uh, no. The thought process is more akin to. "I'm Dick. This is Sam. I love Sam. I want to spend the rest of my life with Sam, possibly have a family with Sam, and get all the legal rights and recognition a commited couple should be entitled to". Why should it matter if Sam is "Samuel" or "Samantha"?

Posted by: innleadairbreagha | March 14, 2010 10:53 PM | Report abuse


"All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression." - Thomas Jefferson, first inaugural address

Posted by: M8R-lrf4my | March 14, 2010 11:44 PM | Report abuse

@M8R - As you know, sodomy was illegal in those days (1801). So Jefferson, of course, didn't intend to include homosexuals as a protected minority in his inaugural speech. It's unreasonable to think otherwise.

Posted by: Armyvet4 | March 15, 2010 2:11 AM | Report abuse

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Posted by: nikejordans1 | March 15, 2010 8:30 AM | Report abuse

I don't want to see words like "bible" and "christian" again. The world and the country should not be ruled by a fiction book. The same religion started numerous wars, slaved people, discriminated against non-Christians throughout the history should just keep their 'belief' at home. You have no right to tell a newspaper and other people what to do based on a fake book and fake religion.

Posted by: salukiindc | March 15, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Yay! Glad to see you got some guts!

(and that is a cute couple, iddnit?)

Posted by: ennepe68 | March 15, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

As Oscar Hammerstein II said, "You have to be taught to hate." The notion "that people who have kids are disgusted to see two men kissing is more than a bit over-generalized. Between us my partner and I have 8 siblings and 30+ nephews and nieces and grand-nephews and nieces. We are accepted by each others' families as son-in-law, brother-in-law, and uncle. They all get to see us kissing the same way they see their heterosexual aunts and uncles kissing and nobody thinks anything of it. Nobody of any age needs to know what goes on in our bedroom, so the bigots can please get their minds out of the gutter. The kids grow up learning that adults -- usually a man and a woman, but sometimes two men or two women -- fall in love and form stable, loving couples. There is nothing unusual or disgusting about any of it.

I was lucky that my parents insisted on raising their children in integrated neighborhoods and we knew interracial couples. (I only learned later how rare that was in the 1950's, that my best friends' parents couldn't be married in some other states just because they were different colors! How offensively stupid is that!) I grew up taking a certain amount of human diversity for granted, and was only shocked later, not by any two people falling in love, but by the petty hatreds of people who consider other people's love to be any of their business and something that should be prevented.

And what if your kid turns out to be gay? When he or she falls in love, will you be supportive or disgusted? Oh, right... that doesn't happen to good, normal Christian folks like Phyllis Schlafley, Allan Keyes, Dick Cheney, and Charles Socarides...

The pathetic thing about haters is that in the end the people they scorn usually don't really give a damn what they think. You're disgusted that I love another man? That's your problem, Honey, not mine! But,yeah, if any of your kids do come out, then what?

Posted by: starjack | March 16, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

There is one problem with the photo. The photo looks staged as if the photographer asked the couple to kiss. If that is the case then it is not journalism and the photographer is a phony. In fact that would be grounds for dismissal. And to all the photographers who doctor their photos on the computer, go be a wedding photographer because you do not belong in journalism.

Posted by: repudar711 | March 16, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Military commanders: Take note. Remember, it's the enlisted ranks who must share close quarters with them, not the officer rank.

Posted by: Armyvet4 | March 16, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Armyvet: Uh, you do realize "sodomy" can be practiced by both heterosexual and homosexual couples, don't you? Some het couples do it, and some gay couples don't.

Although that's hardly relevant in any case, because if you see a picture of a married couple kissing and that immediately takes your mind to images of sex and army rape -- well really, that says more about you than it does about the men in question.

If you want an actually good cause to worry about, I suggest you turn your attention to the vast numbers of women in the military who are raped by heterosexual males. Should we ban het males from the military because some of them can't seem to not rape things? Hmm?

Posted by: Laliho | March 16, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Laliho - Red herring. Rapists are prosecuted under the UCMJ. Moreover, female military do not share close quarters 24/7/365 with male military. If you think a Marine-recuit barracks shower room is a place for open homosexuals, for instance, you're not playing with a full deck.

Posted by: Armyvet4 | March 16, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Armyvet4 | March 16, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

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