And sometimes, it's a sign of swift and sweeping cultural and political change.
Over the past days and weeks, same-sex kisses have started to arrive in mainstream news media.
"We're now seeing this stuff completely across the board," said
Just five years ago,
The year before,
How times have changed.
On Wednesday, following the opening of the
That same night,
And earlier this month, ESPN showed
The sports network actually aired its first gay kiss -- a celebratory smooch between a gay professional bowler and his husband -- last year.
To some extent, same-sex kisses have been prevalent in the media for some time.
There were same-sex couples on shows as far back as "Dynasty" and "Thirtysomething," said
For a period of time in the 1990s, he said, same-sex kisses appeared with some regularity on network television, becoming almost trendy. "The same-sex kiss became one of those things that gave credibility to a show -- that it was serious, cutting-edge," he said, referring to television programs such as "Ally McBeal" and "Dawson's Creek."
Still, there has been a much more recent change in media showing same-sex kisses by real people, rather than fictional ones.
In some cases, those pictures have still been accompanied by controversy.
As long as the images aren't meant to shock but are a reflection of the news of the day, those are the images that the media should be using, said
"If they got married on the first day the law allowed and they didn't kiss, it would be news," he joked. "If they stood there, they got married and they kissed each other, our job is to tell what happened."
The Post-Gazette received few, if any, complaints after using an image online of a same-sex kiss Wednesday.
Given that same-sex couples have been present on mainstream network television for decades,
"By the time stuff made it to network television back in the network era, it meant that the controversy was kind of over," he said. "This is taking some time but it's happening -- there's no question about it."
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