I'm seeing red, with good reason. Why?
One of the best selling subgenres of erotic romance is M/M. At least three erotic romance publishers have reiterated to me in the last few days that M/M is their #1 bestselling subgenre, bar none. People are buying. A large portion of the erotic romance market is accepting of M/M.
In addition, we've had laws against hate crimes for a couple of decades. We've had (supposedly) tolerance taught in the schools. You'd think the majority of thinking adults would be properly taught to simply walk away from what they don't "approve of" or "want to try."
So, what did I wake up and find this morning?
Terri Pray and her husband Sam are part owners of Under The Moon/Final Sword Productions Terri and Sam were set to buy a house in Greene, Iowa. They had their loan approved, the bid on the house accepted, but Greene has a requirement that they have to have the final sale approved by the town. They weren't approved.
Now, why were they turned down? Terri and Sam, as I noted, are part owners of UTM/FSP. A portion of the business is run out of their home and a part out of the office, as it is with many indie presses. Between the two sides of the company, they have dozens of books out and contracted, everything from straight genre military fiction, horror, and fantasy to erotic romance of all sorts. To be honest, the lion's share of their books aren't even erotic. They have several major gaming franchises, including Honor Harrington gaming. They sell t-shirts and even audio CDs.
What does this have to do with the price of beer? It's simple.
ONE book, out of their entire stock, is a M/M erotic romance anthology, titled SACRED BANDS. While the townspeople of Greene, Iowa found the M/F erotic romance perfectly acceptable, they called the M/M erotic romance "gay porn." Some of them further stated (now, mind you...these aren't older people...these are 30-45-year-old people, which makes it all the more deplorable, in my mind) that publishing SACRED BANDS was "morally corrupt" and that choosing to publish the anthology demonstrated "questionable business practices."
In short, Terri and Sam lost their house, because the people who live in Greene, Iowa are a bunch of backward, homophobic dinosaurs. They lost their house, because (out of hundreds of items available from their business) one book is M/M erotic romance. The deliberations ended with the comment that Greene, Iowa didn't want to be "known for harboring a publisher of gay porn." KUDOS to Greene! You're now exposed for being a bigoted backwoods bunch of rednecks.
UPDATES: Terri reports that the local paper is blaming not the company's offering of the M/M anthology (as was expressed at the town meeting, in great detail) but rather her own writing, which they have no legal right to suppress. Terri writes everything from straight genre science fiction to hot BDSM, but nothing she writes is illegal, and there is the little matter of the first amendment to consider.
Oh, and check this out! VERY FITTING!