Last night CBS News did a segment about Alex Morse, the newly-elected 22-year-old mayor of Holyoke, Massachusetts. It's not only newsworthy that Morse is the country's youngest mayor, but also newsworthy that he's one of only a handful of openly gay mayors. So, why did they gloss over the second fact?
As pointed out in The Republican, his being gay wasn't an issue in his campaign, so why should it be an issue now? Personally I just think there is still some inherent news value in openly gay people getting elected, especially with the added hook of his being so young. Where is the "and it doesn't even matter to people that he's gay" or the "kids these days don't care if you're gay" or the "not only is he a baby, he's also a babygay and that's twice as hard" angle? I mean, his plan for reviving the sagging downtown is rebuilding the theater. Hello? Still not gay?
Yes, this is a 150-second long news segment and you can only fit in so much information, but if I were the producer on this, I would have at least given it a mention, or maybe the last little bit the anchor says after the package rolls. I'm rather biased, however, and I think that in this age of glass closet cases everywhere, it's nice to show the world that gay men Americans be out and successful. Especially when, according to the Victory Fund, there are still fewer than 40 openly gay mayors in the country.
I guess I can understand why they didn't. This is what equality looks like, when an elected official's sexual orientation doesn't matter at all, even if he's gay. It's not like during the 2008 summer Olympics when NBC kept referring to the "struggles" gay diver Matthew Mitcham had to face but was too cowardly to say the G word. It just didn't warrant a mention. But if this is what equality looks like, why does it make me a little sad?