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Radio station 'kiss-off' will now allow same-sex smooching

A Madison, WI radio station inadvertently stepped into a homo-battle when it slated a kiss-off contest that it planned at a local mall. WZEE/FM 104.1 started the dust-up in its initial announcement, which stipulated only opposite-sex partners could participate.

After hearing from listeners who objected to the discriminatory rules, the station opened up the contest, but had to move it out of the mall, which declared that no same-sex smooching would occur on the premises. The reason? It’s mind-blowing, Look at West Towne Mall’s perspective… (The Capital Times):

Bowing to public pressure, WZEE/FM 104.1 decided to move Saturday’s second annual “Kiss Off” from the mall to its studios after mall officials apparently barred same-sex couples from participating.

“We are very pleased with Z104,” said Franny Marion, support services coordinator for the UW-Madison Campus Women’s Center, which threatened to protest the event.

“They made a public apology. We support them for taking the contest elsewhere when West Towne wouldn’t change the discriminatory policy too.”

…Paul Matyas, West Towne’s general manager, would not say if the mall insisted on restricting the contest to opposite-sex couples. He called it a sensitive issue, adding that West Towne is a place of commerce, open to everyone. The station decided to move the event on its own, he said.

But [Frannie] Marion, of the [UW-Madison] Campus Women’s Center, said that when she spoke with another mall official she was told the decision was made for the “comfort and safety of customers.”

What danger does a glimpse of a same-sex couple smooching pose to the safety of your average mall rat?

By the way, the prize in this contest is a three-night trip to Jamaica. I think this will bring the gay participation down to nearly nil, if you ask me, considering the rampant state-endorsed homophobia in that country. From PlanetOut‘s Best and Worst in Gay and Lesbian Travel.

Jamaica
A homophobic culture and outright hostility, such as not allowing a gay cruise ship to dock, contributes to the persecution of gays in Jamaica. Its homophobic laws are rooted in its colonial past. Those convicted of same-sex relations may be punished by up to 10 years of hard labor. Read more here.

For an earlier Blend post on the horrors the LGBT population has to deal with, see Gay rights struggles are tough here, but in Jamaica, it’s so much worse. Witness the wisdom of an editorial in the Jamaica Gleaner:

Gays just want to have sex and lots of it like most of us heterosexuals. They feel it’s unfair that we should have it and they should have none. When you really press them (oops!), they have no intellectually unassailable defence. It goes back to the sovereignty of their irresistible desires. They are just helpless slaves to their passions. Their reasoning violates every rule in even naturalistic ethical construction.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding