It is alright for Batwoman to get engaged to a woman, be a lesbian, and actually portray lesbians as something other than oversexualized entities- which is a problem with how women are portrayed throughout comic books, honestly.
The reincarnation of Batwoman has seen Kate Kane as an out and proud lesbian who was kicked from the military because of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. During the course of the early stories which are filled with mystery and mysticism, Kane falls in love with Maggie Sawyer, an openly lesbian cop with a daughter.
Kane and Sawyer got engaged after the first major arc of the story. At the time, Kane was in costume as Batwoman, and kissed Sawyer.
The problem? The engagement was apparently alright for DC Comics, which is owned by Warner Brothers, but not any talk of marriage.
Co-writers J.H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman were given the ultimatum from DC that Kane and Sawyer are not to get married, so they quit. The two stated that “Unfortunately, in recent months, DC has asked us to alter or completely discard many long-standing storylines in ways that we feel compromise the character and the series. . .Most crushingly, prohibited from ever showing Kate and Maggie actually getting married. All of these editorial decisions came at the last minute, and always after a year or more of planning and plotting on our end.”
They went on to say that “We’ve always understood that, as much as we love the character, Batwoman ultimately belongs to DC. However, the eleventh-hour nature of these changes left us frustrated and angry — because they prevent us from telling the best stories we can. So, after a lot of soul-searching, we’ve decided to leave the book after Issue 26.”
And concluded by saying “We’re both heartbroken over leaving, but we feel strongly that you all deserve stories that push the character and the series forward. We can’t reliably do our best work if our plans are scrapped at the last minute, so we’re stepping aside. We are committed to bringing our run to a satisfying conclusion and we think that Issue 26 will leave a lasting impression.”
Williams later tweeted that “We fought to get them engaged, but were told emphatically no marriage can result,” and then added “But must clarify- was never put to us as being anti-gay marriage.”
It is unclear who will take over the story, or how it will impact the future of Batwoman. Williams is working on Sandman: Overture currently with Neil Gaiman.
How fans will react is another matter all together. Part of the reason why Batwoman has been such a success is how the series has dealt with having a lesbian main character, and because readers of the story are likely to be pro-LGBT, not having Kane and Sawyer get married seems counterproductive. In fact, this move plays into the hands of groups like One Million Moms who have been against Batwoman being openly lesbian from the beginning.
As a loyal reader of the series, I’m not sure if I will buy any more copies of Batwoman now that this has happened.