Why Hasn't Homophobia Become Unacceptable?

I enjoy living in New York City in an era unabashed political correctness. In a single day, I hear at least 10 different languages outside my window. If I’m hungry I can eat Mexican, Indian, and some sort of Asian meal followed by an Italian pastry. Sure, every now and then I hear a racial slur, or a derogatory comment about women. But overall racism, sexism and religious intolerance have become unacceptable. So why hasn’t homophobia?

Recently, the Star Tribune was sued by a gay group following the Minneapolis newspaper’s refusal to print an advertisement for a 2004 gay pride event, which the newspaper sponsored. The advertisement depicted two men kissing. According to an article in Editor and Publisher:

“GLBT Pride sued in Hennepin County District Court in June, alleging discrimination and breach of contract over the refusal to run the ad. The Star Tribune had agreed to be a sponsor of the gay pride event, but declined to run the ad, saying it violated it policy on community standards for ads. The gay group contended the paper had run ads showing heterosexual couples kissing, and that it was improperly applying different standards to the gay ad. The group also alleged the paper refused an ad that did not include the photo of the same-sex couple kissing.”

So by community standards it’s okay to show a man and a woman kissing, but not two people of the same gender. Only what community was the newspaper striving to represent? Gays and lesbians are making up a larger percentage of the American population. And the last time I checked, they bought newspapers too.

The article continues:

“Under the terms of the settlement, the newspaper will resume sponsoring the gay pride event, and the gay group will drop its lawsuit in county court.”

The two groups released a statement saying:

"The positive side of this dispute is that we both have grown in understanding each other's views of their rights, responsibilities and missions," the statement said. "Star Tribune did not intend to offend GLBT Pride with this decision, and GLBT Pride never wanted to dictate what Star Tribune could and could not print, even in advertising.”

How nice – a happy ending. Yet, I’m assuming the newspaper would have printed an advertisement for engagement rings showing a straight couple kissing. And I bet they would have run ads for the NAACP, other minority and religious groups, and feminist organizations. Apparently, it’s only still alright to discriminate against the gay community.

I had thought we lived in an era of political correctness – or at least tolerance.

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