As with the Wonder Woman page, someone threw a lengthy chunk of text in the middle of this article about gay issues. Opinion pieces are fine, but they belong IN THE FORUM. That's what it's there for.
Again, this isn't my stuff and I don't know who wrote it. I just moved it to where it should be:
One of the most controversial questions popped up in the early 1950s. Are Batman and Robin gay lovers? The answer is left for the audience to interpret, so theoretically the answer could be yes and no. However, a psychologist named Fredric Wertham testified in the Senate to get comic books outlawed. The comic industry had to organize the Comics Code Authority, and comics had to obtain that Authority's seal of approval. Wertham published a book titled Seduction Of The Innocent in 1954. Six pages in that book were dedicated to Batman’s supposed connection to homosexuality. During this time, homosexuality was much more intolerable then nowadays. Note that every example used is seen through Fredric Wertham’s eyes, as his work is all based on long-since totally discredited theories and a vicious, evil bias against homosexuality--AND comics, which he had always hated. The homosexuality interpretation began when one of his gay patients brought in Detective Comics and began telling him how it became a fantasy if he could live with Bruce. The homophobic, misogynistic Wertham wrote in his book:
"One young homosexual during psychotherapy brought us a copy of Detective Comics, with a Batman story. He pointed out a picture of ‘The Home of Bruce and Dick,’ a house beautifully landscaped, warmly lighted and showing the devoted pair side by side, looking out a picture window. When he was eight this boy had realized from fantasies about comic-book pictures that he was aroused by men. At the age of ten or eleven, ‘I found my liking, my sexual desires, in comic books. I think I put myself in the position of Robin. I did want to have relations with Batman. The only suggestion of homosexuality may be that they seem to be so close to each other. I remember the first time I came across the page mentioning the secret BatCave. The thought of Batman and Robin living together and possibly having sex relations came to my mind. You can almost connect yourself with the people. I was put in the position of the rescued rather than the rescuer. I felt I’d like to be loved by someone like Batman or Superman.’"
Wertham stated that “the Batman type of story” was what caused children to have subconscious homosexual fantasies. Wertham came up with a totally ridiculous and evilly homophobic "theory" that “they lived in sumptuous quarters, with beautiful flowers in large vases, and have a butler. It is like a wish dream of two homosexuals living together.” Up until 1961, male homosexual activities were banned in the United States of America. So therefore it was easy for Wertham, in his quackery, to connect that Bruce Wayne used a secret identity to hide his true self, just as gays had to hide themselves prior to 1961. Another argument he advanced that Batman was gay was the supposed lack of women in Bruce Wayne’s life. During these times, it was thought that homosexuals hated women, so Wertham quickly jumped to the wrong, false, and lying conclusion that “Bruce and Dick must be homosexual because there were no women in their home.” He viewed Batman as an anti-feminine and wrote that there are only “masculine, bad, witchlike women. And if a girl is good looking, she is undoubtedly the villainess. If she is after Bruce Wayne, she will have no chance against Dick.”
DC Comics would try to refute the allegations that Bruce and Dick were gay by introducing Batwoman, a former circus acrobat whose real name was Kathleen Kane, and her daughter, the first Bat-Girl, a fellow former circus acrobat whose own real name was Elizabeth "Betty" Kane, into the "Batman Family." In an interview with Julius Schwartz, who was then the editor of Batman comics in the 1960s, he stated that he had killed off Alfred and replaced him with Dick’s Aunt Harriet to have a woman in the house. The 1960s was the same time that Batman: The Series began to air on television. The television series seemed to support Wertham’s ludicrous theory of a homosexual Batman. The television series looked like it had everything Wertham said, from the happy "campy" atmosphere to the nice Batcave and no women in Bruce’s life. The next allegation was that Batman was the prime example of “the muscular male supertype, whose primary sex characteristics are usually well-emphasized, while Robin is a handsome ephebic boy, usually shown in his uniform with bare legs. He often stands with his legs spread, the genital region discreetly evident.” This also pointed out the type of costumes they wore. Robin then wore little green shorts and pixie boots while Batman wore skin tight clothing.
However, just as these can be falsely interpreted as “gay,” it can and should be interpreted as “straight” by mentioning that Robin’s costume was originally designed in the 1930s and that it was made to be colorful for children, while Batman was a dark character. Batman’s skin tight clothing could be interpreted as clothing worn by American football players. The skin-tight clothing helped one avoid being grabbed by extra clothing. So originally, Batman was never meant to be gay. However, it is up to the reader to interpret whatever they want. But let’s see what the creators think:
"In my 40 years as a Batman reader, that question never occurred to me. Then, during my time as writer on the Batman titles, I was interviewed for an American college rag. The first question was, 'Is Batman gay?' Well, the Batman I wrote for 13 years ISN'T gay. Denny O'Neil's Batman, Marv Wolfman's Batman, everybody's Batman all the way back to Bob Kane...NONE of them wrote him as a gay character! Only Joel Schumacher might have had an opposing view.”
"No, of course not. When in 'Batman' form, he is dedicated to the job in hand, romance doesn't enter into the equation. Maybe the correct question should be, 'Is Bruce Wayne gay?' Whereupon you could come up with a whole line of speculation relating to his continual use and abuse of women, his fondness for young boys, and his weird obsession with older men (Alfred, Jim Gordon)...all of which could be put together and give one of two readings:(a) he's gay;(b) he has a secret identity he's trying to hide.”
“To answer your second question first, do I agree with people imposing their own 'readings' on establish FICTIONAL characters? Of course. That's the whole point of reading, to bring your imagination and experience to the text, and to come away feeling inspired or entertained or like you've made a connection with the universal (because as I keep insisting, fiction is about truth, not reality)... So now, specifically, is he gay? Well, I guess it depends who you ask, doesn't it? Since you're asking me, I'll say no, I don't think he is. I'm pretty attached to the idea of him having the impossible romance with Selina, and I also think he's someone who lives pretty far outside sexual self-expression as a general rule. I certainly understand the gay readings, though. There's lots there to play with and I think that's fun and cool. And, of course, had you asked me about Nightwing's sexuality, well, you might have gotten a very different answer.”