Front page gay marriage kiss sees drop in newspaper sales

A regional newspaper has reportedly lost “thousands of sales” after publishing a picture of two homosexual men kissing on its front page.

The Bristol Post featured the image on 31 March to mark the city’s first same-sex marriage.

Editor Mike Norton said the drop in sales surprised him as the paper received only nine complaints.

Dialogue

“But, clearly, what people say and what people do are different. Of course, I knew that. But I didn’t think it would apply in this case.”

He added: “I’ve decided to ask the internet. I want to hear from the people who didn’t buy the paper because of that picture. Tell me why. I ask only that you are reasoned and honest. But I want to start a dialogue and genuinely understand why the picture put you off.”

Over 600,000 ignored

In March the BBC heard how the Government “completely ignored” two-thirds of a million traditional marriage supporters.

An audience member told BBC’s Question Time, “a huge swathe of the population” had been sidelined by the Government.

She referred to the Coalition for Marriage petition supporting traditional marriage, which has over 668,000 signatures.

Persuasion

Comments on Norton’s blog varied. Some defended the newspaper’s decision to publish the image. Others said the sales dip reflected how those opposed to same-sex marriage are fearful of voicing their opinions in public.

The CEO of Mozilla stepped down last week after coming under fire for backing traditional marriage.

Brendan Eich, who also created the widely used Java Script computer language, had previously given £600 to a US based campaign supporting marriage between one man and one woman.

Disgusted

Author Andrew Sullivan, who is homosexual, said however the backlash ‘disgusted him’ and wondered if Eich will “now be forced to walk through the streets in shame”.

He added: “Why not the stocks? The whole episode disgusts me – as it should disgust anyone interested in a tolerant and diverse society.”

Related Resources