Yesterday the Sacramento Bee ran a front-page photo of the traditional welcome-kiss marking the return of the Oak Hill to its home port of Little Creek, Virginia. With the end of the “Don't ask, don't tell” era, the Oak Hill's homecoming became the first to be officially marked by a same-sex kiss, as Petty Officer 2nd Class Marissa Gaeta bussed her partner, Petty Officer 3rd Class Citlalic Snell.
Today, with a rapidity indicating how quickly it was dashed off and submitted, a whining note appeared in the Bee's Letters to the Editor column:
Photo could confuse kidsOh, won't someone please think of the children!!
Re “A welcome-home kiss” (Page A1, Dec. 22): Surely there must have been considerable discussion before intentionally publishing the “first kiss“ photo on the front page. Did anyone consider that young children might be confused by the display on the front page?
The Bee has selfishly and disrespectfully usurped the rights of parents to choose where and when to have a thoughtful discussion, with their children, about homosexuality. Believe it or not, there are still some families whose values are not reflected in the type of photo that The Bee published; and they are neither intolerant nor filled with hate.
If the story was so darned important, then why did the text appear several pages back? Perhaps McClatchy should consider adding “Enquirer” to the title of the newspaper.
—Jane Doe, Rocklin
Thanks for your concern, “Jane.” (The excessively curious can obtain her real name from the Bee website. I won't use it here.) I can't help wondering how Jane's children managed to grow old enough to be “confused” without Mommie Dearest having had that “thoughtful discussion” she values so highly. It's not as though most toddlers spend any time perusing the pages of the newspaper. And why should even older children be upset by a glimpse of a same-sex couple kissing on the Bee's front page? Have they not seen plenty of same-sex kissing among family members and close friends? Doesn't grandma kiss mommy? Doesn't mommy have BFFs from high school or college who hug her and smooch her whenever they meet?
I mean, it's not as though the newspaper photo will unduly disturb youngsters just because mother has neglected to instruct them—in a “thoughtful discussion”—about cunnilingus, strap-ons, and tribadism. Jane Doe has constructed a straw lesbian.
She wants us to believe that people who object to displays of same-sex affection “are neither intolerant nor filled with hate.” But I don't believe that. Not filled with hate? Maybe, but that's not self-evident. Filled with intolerance? Definitely.