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Study Finds Straight People - And Even Many Gays - Are Still Alarmingly Uncomfortable With Same-Sex PDA

Becker.John

Some gay activists have long espoused a theory that the so-called "ick factor" — straight people's aversion to the idea of same-sex intimacy, especially involving men — is a fundamental obstacle to full equality. It helps explain the strategy behind historical gay kiss-in protests — or, more recently, same-sex couples posting photos of themselves kissing (above) on the Facebook page of anti-gay reality stars Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar.

But now a scientific study gives credence to the "ick factor" theory and, in doing so, could even help chart a course for the LGBT movement post-marriage equality.

The study, authored by Indiana University researcher Logan Doan and published in The American Sociological Review, surveyed more than 1,000 people and found that while 70 percent of heterosexuals support things like inheritance rights for same-sex couples, only 55 percent approve of gay men kissing on the cheek in public, according to Al Jazeera America. That's compared to 95 percent who approve of straight couples kissing on the cheek in public.

What's more, over 20 percent of heterosexual respondents said they disapprove of gay men talking about their relationships.

Even gay male respondents were less approving of gay PDAs than straight PDAs — perhaps, Doan says, due to internalized stigma and an inherent fear of hate crimes. And not surprisingly, heterosexual respondents were far more approving of lesbian PDAs, at a rate of 72 percent.

But approval of gay male PDAs was similar to support for same-sex marriage (53 percent), which many Americans view as a social construct separate from equal legal rights. And while marriage equality can be achieved in the courts, it seems a significant percentage of straight Americans still won't approve of same-sex relationships on a moral level.

From Al Jazeera America:

“We had civil rights laws long before we had positive attitudes toward ethnic minorities,” Doan said, adding that Americans support rights because they see themselves as egalitarian, regardless of their personal views on homosexuality.

“The more informal, subtle types of prejudice linger much longer, because that actually requires people to change their views,” he said. ...

The survey may offer clues to gay rights activists on the direction of the movement going forward, Doan said. “It would be great to take a more comprehensive approach.”

“There’s this informal type of prejudice that has primarily been neglected. There’s a push for more positive portrayals in the media, but the bulk of what people think of when they think of the gay rights movement is marriage,” he said.

Of course, we all know marriage equality isn't going to stop gay youth from being rejected by their families, or LGBT people from being fired by their employers — much of which correllates to the "ick factor."

But the solution isn't just more same-sex PDAs or gay sex on TV. It's for gay people to be not only out, but also open about their relationships.

Before we can do that, though — as the study's finding of lower approval for same-sex PDAs among gays would suggest — we'll first need to fully accept ourselves.


Hundreds of LGBT Protesters and Allies Flood UK Supermarket for Kiss-In Protest: VIDEO

Sainsburys

Prompted by a security guard who told a lesbian couple to stop their "disgusting" kissing (on National Coming Out Day, no less), hundreds of protesters flooded a Sainsbury's supermarket in Brighton, UK on Wednesday for a "big consensual kiss-in" to protest the couple's ejection.

Sainsbury's has agreed to donate £100 but protesters say that's offensive given the supermarket's profits for the first three months of 2014 were £898 million.

Watch some heartwarming videos of the protest, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Neil Patrick Harris Says a Kiss from Burt Reynolds Helped Him Realize He Was Gay: VIDEO

Nph_reynolds

In his new Choose Your Own Autobiography, Neil Patrick Harris writes about coming to an understanding that he was gay, and reveals that one of his 'aha' moments was on the set of the 1989 TV show B.L. Stryker, when he received a surprise kiss from the show's star Burt Reynolds.

Writes Harris in the book:

As a joke at the end of one take, Burt leans over and kisses you square on the mouth...The crew thinks this is very funny, but it makes you uncomfortable. Uncomfortable and, it will ultimately turn out, gay. Burt Reynolds' kiss makes you gay.

Harris appeared in one episode of the short-lived series. And thankfully (or not)  for us, the entire episode is on YouTube.

Check it out, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Neil Patrick Harris Says a Kiss from Burt Reynolds Helped Him Realize He Was Gay: VIDEO" »


Gay Houston Couple Kicked Out of Cab for Kissing, Told They are Going to Hell: VIDEO

Houston

The Yellow Cab company in Houston, Texas is investigating a driver after Travis Player and his partner, Andres Orozco, claimed they were thrown out of the driver's cab for kissing, ABC7 reports.

Said Orozco: "The man just turns back to us and tells us that he doesn't give gay people rides. And he proceeds to tell us we're going to hell for being gay."

Yellow Cab said it would take immediate action and released a statement to the news station:

"Yellow Cab immediately investigated this allegation of discrimination, including talking to the independent contractor driver. the driver stated that he would have taken the same actions if it was a man and a woman in the taxicab. Evidently, the driver was overly sensitive to passengers kissing. Yellow Cab does not have a policy about passengers showing affection in taxicabs. in fact, we encourage kissing in our taxicabs."

Houston's recently passed LGBT rights ordinance would not yet protect Orozco and Player in this situation because it is being challenged and not enforced, and the state of Texas does not have public accommodation anti-discrimination laws.

Watch ABC7's report, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Gay Chicago Couple Kicked Out Of Taxi For Kissing Files New Lawsuit: VIDEO

CHI

Last June, Chicago couple Steven White and Matt McCrea were kicked out of a taxi for sharing a closed-mouth second-long kiss. In October, Lambda Legal stepped in to file a complaint on behalf of the couple with the Illinois Department of Human Rights. Christopher Clark, Senior Staff Attorney for Lambda Legal, then commented, "A taxi-cab company, like any other business in Illinois that offers services to the public, is bound by the Illinois Human Rights Act to not discriminate based on sexual orientation, among other protected categories." However, as NBC 5 Chicago reports, that complaint was rejected "because the department said it had no jurisdiction over corporate entities." The couple has now filed a lawsuit against the taxi cab company: 

"It's ludicrous to suggest that a cab company is not responsible for the discrimination enacted by its drivers," the couple's lawyer, Christopher Clark, said. "They should be liable under the law for the conduct of their agents."

The suit claims the driver, who is not named in the suit, complained the men were "making sex" in the cab in May 2013. McCrea and White, who were heading into the city from O'Hare, say the driver began flashing the interior lights of the vehicle and then swerved on to the shoulder of the Kennedy Expressway and demanded they get out miles before their intended destination.

Meanwhile, the driver was issued several violations and fined close to $2,000 because of the incident. 

Watch a news report on the couple's latest legal action, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Lesbian 'Kiss' On 'Dr. Who' Stirs Complaints And Arouses Support

Dr who lesbian kiss

U.K. communications regulator Ofcom has received six complaints following a lesbian kiss on Doctor Who, reports Gay Star News. Dr who tweet 2

The complaints came after a scene in which Madame Vastra helps to keep her wife Jenny alive in response to a threat from droids that only move when they can sense breath.

One tweet suggested that “the BBC wants to become a porn channel,” while another said that “the Lizard/Lesbian kiss was ‘unnecessary.’”

However, while some viewers were upset at the thought of two women kissing before the 9pm watershed, the majority of tweets were overwhelmingly positive.

@toddlerlex pointed out that “some parents are okay with their kids watching Dr Who's organ stealing robots & impaled body…Lesbian kiss? Complain to Ofcom! Ridic.”

It has also been noted by various commenters that the “lesbian kiss” was essentially CPR and was actually an inter-species kiss.

Dr who tweet


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