A library trustee in Ohio doesn’t want the Upper Arlington Public Library to carry the local free gay newspaper, the Outlook Weekly. In a Focus on the Family article, Bryce Kurfees, the trustee said the following:
“What I want to do with them is toss them out. There’s no reason that we need to accept free newspapers that are just dropped off at our front door, especially ones that are obscene.”
And I’m concerned that if we can’t draw a line at pornographic articles, then it appears that we can’t draw the line anywhere.”
Alan Chambers is quoted about the desired censorship saying that “homosexuals use these periodicals mainly for one purpose”:
“The way I see gay newspapers is they are a means for mostly homosexuals to hook up with other homosexuals or materials that promote pornography.”
Perhaps Chambers has only used gay news magazines for “hook up” purposes or to find promotion of pornography, but this says much more about Chambers than it does about the Outlook Weekly.
It appears to me that Chambers and Kurfees were willing to make claims about the magazine without looking at it. The magazine is online appearing as it does in print.
This is far from a racy or sleazy magazine. It appears to be a glossy mag that provides news to the gay community on political and health issues along with advice, columns, and articles and seems to be balanced between men and women. The current edition has articles about Sarah Jessica Parker and about a gay comic and an odd picture of ducks quacking “April Fools”.
Even the advertising in this magazine appears very conventional and is about what you’d expect in any small newsmagazine. There were two ads in this 32 page magazine that are suggestive. Though I wouldn’t post either on exgaywatch, neither ad would qualify as pornographic or obscene.
Nor did I find any “hook up” ads, not even the personal ads you will find in most mainstream newspapers. The closest was an ad for Out in Columbus, a gay website that offers news, articles, advice, and personals and one pictureless business card size ad for a telephone-based personals service.
If anyone picked up this magazine to “hook up with other homosexuals” or for materials that promote pornography they would have completely wasted their time. Both Kurfees and Chambers are making false accusations in their attempt to demonize anything gay and to restrict the inclusion of this magazine among other free magazines in the public library.
Chambers makes another odd claim in this article in reference to “this type of pornography”:
“A young person could find and look through and eventually get involved in something that was detrimental or dangerous to his health and his well being.”
Chambers appears to be suggesting that reading this magazine and finding its non-existant pornography would make someone gay. Which is odd, because that isn’t at all consistent with the “sexual abuse / distant father” mantra that Exodus espouses. Or perhaps Alan Chambers will say absolutely anything whatsoever as long as it is anti-gay.