Newspapers Refuse To Run “Dilbert” Strip Slamming India’s Anti-Gay Law

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Dilbert creator Scott Adams is known for his anti-PC, somewhat conservative bent, but the highly successful artist-illustrator stood up for the international LGBT community in today’s strip, where he lampooned India’s re-criminalization of homosexuality.

In the three-panel cartoon, Dogbert announces the Indian government upheld a law “making it a crime to be gay,” and in order to commemorate “that hopelessly ignorant decision,” a character named Asok the Intern was now “officially gay.”

The strip ends with Asok announcing he has “a lot of gay stuff to do.”

After repealing its law against homosexuality in 2009, India reinstated the proscription last fall, despite outrage from both progressive politicians and the nation’s LGBT community. There are reports that several newspapers, including the San Jose Mercury News, didn’t run the strip about India today—instead opting to rerun an old comic.

This is the strip that appeared on the Mercury-News website.

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On his blog, Adams wrote:

Today Asok the intern came out. Tomorrow he’ll have some things to say about the so-called government of India.

Cue the inevitable cries of “Stop being political! You’re ruining Dilbert!”

Allow me to address that right now.

It’s only political if there’s someone on the other side of the debate. In this case, no one favors a government deciding which sexual acts among consenting adults in the privacy of their own homes are allowed and which are punishable by jail.

If I am wrong, and you favor the government restricting what kind of sex you can have with another consenting adult, please proudly state your case. I’m listening.

Cue cricket sounds…

The blogpost received more than 60 comments. Here’s a selection:

* “You can’t argue against stuff like this when it suits you. I mean if you can snoop on people for not recycling or smoking tobacco (I believe CA does both) then you can snoop on people for being gay”

* “On 3/2/00 Asok dated a skeleton and dressed it up as a woman so he must swing both ways. In fact, that also covers the postmortem argument someone brought up!”

* “I would imagine, such laws, like the one in Russia, exist as a sort of legal blackmail. That is, if you’re gay and relatively discreet then you probably won’t run into much trouble, even if you’re “out”. But if you begin acting out politically, then the government can shut you real fast/ make an example to other trouble makers.”

* “What if my wife consented to me having my way with her postmortem. Should the government allow that?”

 Below, an earlier Dilbert strip.

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