Monday, August 04, 2008


Last month, there was considerable mockery aimed at the American Family Association, because the online Christian news service that it sponsored,, had an autoreplace function that substituted the word "homosexual" for the word "gay" on its AP news feed, in keeping with the group's bizarre logic that the word "gay" might have overly positive connotations and thus unintentionally encourage behavior fundamentalists abhorred. Of course, the fact that the AFA trumpets their not-safe-for-work posting of images of nude celebrators at a McDonald's-sponsored gay pride parade might actually represent a much more significantly mixed message doesn't seem to merit much reflection from the group.

This oddity in their display algorithm wasn't obvious to others until the feed posted several items with an altered version of the name of athlete Tyson Gay. As Right Wing Watch explains, Gay's performance qualifying for the U.S. Olympic team appeared under the headline "Homosexual eases into 100 at Olympic trials." The Sleuth has compiled a number of the unintentional double entendres generated by the snafu, including the following gem:

"It means a lot to me," the 25-year-old Homosexual said. "I'm glad my body could do it, because now I know I have it in me."

Now that some time has passed, it is clear that the AFA and OneNewsNow no longer prohibit the use of the word "gay" in their online copy. Nonetheless, "gay" is still a dirty word in their lexicon and discrimination is actively rather than passively encouraged by live writers in the absence of bots. For example, the sites have postings about "gay pride parades" and "gay issues" prominently featured, and their homophobic editorial policy is obviously not making any laudatory remarks.

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