Originally Posted by horatio
Homosexual people have existed since the dawn of time so they'll also exist in the future.
The absence of homosexual characters doesn't imply that there are supposed to be none. I am German and the only Germans I have ever seen in Trek were nazis ... but this doesn't mean that Germans don't go into space and I couldn't care less about their presence or absence. To be frank I don't care about the absence of presence of LGBT folks (let's not forget transsexual people who have a much harder time than gay or bisexual folks) in Trek either whereas I enjoyed the few episodes that dealt with sexual identity very much.
Let me use your Abrams quote to point out why I am against these representation games. The last Trek movie was probably the most unenlightened Trek story in years and the folks at the helm make it crystal clear that they don't care about the general principles of Trek at all.
Suppose there will be a gay character in the next movie such that everybody can claim that JJA et al are so progessive ... while they are in fact not giving a damn about Roddenberry's vision at all. You also have this a lot in politics, gay right-wingers like Fortuyn or Haider can pretend to be liberal and open and so on while they are in fact the very opposite.
To prevent any misunderstandings, I am not against the presence of homosexual characters in Trek, I merely like to emphasize the importance of a holistic perspective. At least for me Trek doesn't automatically become good when discriminated folks are represented; it takes more than that.
Star Trek TOS was very much a product of its time; the space race, civil rights, the cold war. Roddenberry's idealistic vision of the future involved humans working together in space, not divided along national or racial boundaries. Gays and gay rights were not so much in the public conscience then as now, so not too surprising there was no gay character included.
Fast forward to the Berman/TNG era of Trek. This was basically a family show, a PG-13 space opera, where characters' sexual lives took a backseat to an anomoly in space. Captains were ascetic, unlike the sexually liberated Kirk. Characters would have to go on vacation to sex planets like Risa to get laid, or get it on with a holocharacter. The closest we ever got to LGBTG was the lesbian kiss between actresses Susana Thompson and Terry Ferrell in the DS9 episode, "Rejoined." In this episode, neither character was gay, Jadzia Dax was at best, bisexual.
But if you think about how many episodes were produced during this period, hundreds, it is surprising that not a single one involved a human gay character. This from a TV franchise that historically had been a trail blazer in terms of showing non-discriminatory attitudes toward people that are "different." In the meantime, we've seen plenty of gay characters, even recurring, regular gay characters on primetime TV sitcoms like Will & Grace. I'd say it is too late for Trek to redeem itself with a gay character now.