The Gay Issue, Oct. 25
We had an irate caller phone last October who told us that he didn’t want our newspapers distributed at his business any longer after our Gay Issue hit the stands. “This is South Carolina, bro,” he told Arts and Screen Editor Patrick Sharbaugh. Never mind that the fellow didn’t actually own the business, it was nice to know that we were getting under somebody’s skin. It’s a good sign we’re doing something right.
There was lots of debate about what should be on the cover (drag queens? John Graham Altman III?), but there was little debate about what needed to be inside. Though South Carolina already has a law prohibiting gays from getting married, the state was just weeks away from voting on an amendment that would put discrimination into the state’s constitution. We laid out the issue and the impact in front of voters, along with first-person accounts from the gay and lesbian people who live next door. In the end, the measure was overwhelmingly approved by voters — but the Charleston peninsula, Folly Beach, and a few other pockets of Charleston County voted against the measure. It’s great to see that the issue was still fresh in people’s minds after all these months and that we didn’t get a bomb threat for putting two guys on the cover (unlike with the Sex and the Holy City issue a few years back).