The offending picture.

The Washington Post has revealed that it has been inundated by letters from readers who were outraged by a front page photo of two men exchanging a kiss.

The newspaper’s ombudsman, Andrew Alexander, said that a number of readers had threatened to cancel their subscriptions and that 27 had in fact done so.

The photo of Jeremy Ames and Taka Ariga kissing outside the D.C. Superior Court was published in connection with the first day of the issuing of marriage licenses to same-sex couples in the district.

“That kind of stuff makes normal people want to throw up. People have kids who are being exposed to this crap. I will be glad when your rag goes out of business. Real men marry women,” wrote on reader.

Another commented: “I feel that the picture on Thursday morning was an affront to the majority of your readership. It is not something that I want coming into my home.”

Alexander defended the publishing of the image, saying that “the photo deserved to be in the newspaper and on its Web site, and it warranted front-page display”, adding that it “…reflects the historic significance of what was occurring”.

He concluded by noting that “there was a time, after court-ordered integration, when readers complained about front-page photos of blacks mixing with whites. Today, photo images of same-sex couples capture the same reality of societal change”.

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