The cover of the current issue of Sports Illustrated apparently is a photo of three Boston police officers rushing to the aid of the runner who was knocked over by the shock wave of one of the explosions at the marathon. Pink News.co.uk, a website that specializes in news of interest to the LGBT communities, today had an article on this photo. Why? Because one of those three officers is openly gay. Can anyone explain to me what the officer’s sexual orientation has to do with this? When I look at the photo, all I see is three of Boston’s finest rushing to the aid of a citizen who was injured, therefore that the officer is gay is irrelevant to the photo or story.
Why does the press feel it necessary to bring up a person’s sexual preference unnecessarily? Doing so in the case of the Sports Illustrated cover did not advance the story in any meaningful way. Three officers doing their duty is what is shown in the photo. Nothing else need be said other than that they helped the runner to his feet, determined he wasn’t hurt and allowed him to finish the marathon.
There are also some instances where the sexuality of public figures is ignored by the press. Is that what happened with the Pink News item? It was “just a cop”, not anyone well-known, so it is okay to tell everyone he’s gay? Kathleen Wynne, the Premier of Ontario is openly lesbian. That fact has no bearing on her duties, so it is ignored. It also had no effect on the members of Liberal Party of Ontario, which chose her as their leader a couple of months ago. They simply voted for the person they felt was best suited for the job. Of course, considering the mess and scandals she inherited, they didn’t do her any favours.
Is there really any difference between the Boston police officer and Premier Wynne? In both cases, the people involved are civil servants just doing their jobs. Whether they are gay or lesbian is as relevant to news stories on them as would be what toppings they like on their pizzas.
Pray for the people of Boston.