July 1 marked the debut of Logo, a TV channel devoted exclusively to homosexuality. Unlike other all-gay, all-the-time channels-such as Here! and Q-available only through pay-per-view or subscription, Logo takes its place on basic cable and is easily accessible for channel-surfers of all ages.
Cable TV does not fall under FCC standards, which only apply to over-the-air broadcasting. The cable industry has rough guidelines of its own, so Logo will not show overt pornography. Still, the channel features R-rated gay-themed movies at night, as well as same-sex kissing and sex-talk round the clock. But Logo's emphasis is on "the gay lifestyle" and cultural advocacy. Programming includes a reality show in which same-sex couples win the perfect wedding, concerts featuring homosexual performers (such as the Indigo Girls and Melissa Etheridge), sporting events such as gay rodeos, and documentaries supporting gay rights.
Logo is part of Viacom, which also owns MTV, Nickelodeon, and CBS, which supplies the channel with news. With Viacom's clout, Logo has been picked up by most of the major cable and satellite carriers, including TimeWarner, Comcast, Charter, Cablevision, and DirecTV.
The advertiser-supported gay channel is usually part of the "second tier" of services. On DirecTV, the channel is included with the "Total Choice Plus" package. Thus, if you want NASCAR, you also get homosexuality.
Those who do not want the gay channel in their homes should learn to use the channel-blocking feature. They should also complain to their local cable providers. And vote with their cable bills, changing to a different provider or to a lower, less-expensive tier of service. Or make this the last straw and go TV-free.