PUBLIC OPINION > Newsweek's 'First Gay President' Cover Crossed the Line
News 2012/05/15 17:00:00
President Obama's public support of gay marriage was a landmark event for the LGBT community, but Newsweek's latest cover might have taken the praise a little too far: The title story, written by openly gay journalist Andrew Sullivan, was titled, "The First Gay President." Some might say Obama was "coming out of the closet" with his views, but is calling him the "first gay president" a bit of an overstep? We asked the public.
There was a variety of reasons people voted the way they did, but in the end the majority decided it was, in fact, too far. The most obvious argument was that, well... Obama's not gay. Why would they write something like that if it's not tangibly true? Many commenters called it a lapse of journalistic integrity -- "a cheap way to get attention." On the other hand, Pulitzer Prize-winning African-American author Toni Morrison called Bill Clinton the "first Black president" in 1998, so maybe there is some level of historical awareness (and perhaps irony) present in Sullivan's title.
Liberals Don't Like It
We kind of figured this would be a divisive issue based solely on the fact that it had to do with Obama and homosexuality. However, we weren't sure which direction the controversy would go. The actual statement was made by a conservative Catholic homosexual -- an unusual demographic to begin with, and one that's (fortunately) difficult to read into. As it turns out, conservatives had Sullivan's back while liberals shook a finger.
Acceptance From Older Voters
In the same vein, there was a very sharp drop in support under the age of 35. The difference was black-and-white, with every age group below the mark showing about 76% disapproval, and every age group above showing closer to 46%. That's undeniably close to the political breakdown, so a correlation there is pretty much guaranteed. The most interesting thing about this is how quickly and clearly the politics changed at 35.
Homosexuals Won't Have It
In a 1998 issue of the New Yorker, Toni Morrison wrote of Bill Clinton, "Clinton displays almost every trope of blackness: single-parent household, born poor, working-class, saxophone-playing, McDonald's-and-junk-food-loving boy from Arkansas." Does Obama display "every trope of gayness"? That's hard to say objectively, but based on the homosexual vote, the answer seems to be no.
If you'd like to vote on this question, dig deeper into the demographics, or engage in existing discussion about the topic, visit our poll about Newsweek's Obama article. We'd love to hear from you!
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