That’s the question AfterElton asks after giving a nod to For Better or For Worse’s “outing” of one of its supporting characters so many years ago:
Now and then, a gay character has managed to work his way into this Leave It To Beaver world. In addition to For Better Or For Worse’s Lawrence, there is Mark Slackmeyer and his former partner Chase in Gary Trudeau’s Doonesbury (a previous gay Doonesbury character, Andy Lippincott, died of AIDS in 1991). On 9 Chickweed Lane, Seth, the housemate and confidante of the main character, is gay and has a boyfriend. And some read six year-old Andrew in the comic strip Soup to Nutz as potentially gay, since he sometimes plays with dolls and finds the Brawny paper towel guy attractive.
Meanwhile, a few other comics have brought up gay issues, especially Candorville and The Boondocks (which the author discontinued in 2006). Mallard Fillmore, a conservative cartoon, also tackles gay issues, though always in a critical, and usually insulting way. And in 1993 (at the same time Lawrence was coming out in For Better or For Worse), Beetle Bailey even acknowledged gays in the military, with a voice proclaiming “Hooray! It’s so long overdue!”
But it’s getting harder. It’s been years since a new gay character has been introduced to the comics pages, in either an existing strip or a new comic. And AfterElton.com learned of none that are in the works.
The article then goes on to quote several syndicate editors, who all note the conservative nature of most newspapers these days and how their ongoing death spiral has made their willingness to court controversy all the more unlikely. (link via Daily Cartoonist)