I have no doubt that the show Brothers & Sisters has been shining a positive light for the gays. Matthew Rhys is doing great as Kevin Walker, the gay attorney. I love the show and will continue to watch it. However, the last episode was not so great for us gays. Stop reading if you intend to watch the episode "Family Day" later.
In the last episode, Calista Flockhart is considering a job offer from Republican Senator McCallister, played by Rob Lowe, who only gets hotter as he ages. Her brother in the show, played by Matthew Rhys, points out to Calista that it would be crazy to accept a job with a Republican homophobe who has voted against gay rights (McCallister had previously endorsed a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage). During their exchanges, Calista tells Matthew Rhys that she is against gay marriage herself.
I was sad to see that Calista is not for gay marriage. For Calista's character, marriage is a religious institution; gays should have civil unions. I can't really tell what "civil unions" are; I am not really sure what rights will be granted, but even if equal rights are not granted, I believe it is safe to assume that civil unions are an improvement over no rights at all, but I also believe it is just another form of "separate but not equal;" I think that the argument for civil unions dismisses an important lesson from the civil rights movement for African Americans: separate is not equal. For a character that is deemed to be mildly intelligent not to see the problem with the "civil union" argument is just sad.
Later in the episode Calista accepts the job, after getting to know Rob Lowe's character a little more in a conversation that included Rob Lowe's character saying he would support gay rights...for whatever that means.
To our consolation, it happens that the brother of Rob Lowe's character is also gay. We did not see the brother in question and we do not know whether he is single (and a potential love interest for Matthew Rhys) since Rob Lowe did not respond Calista's question about his brother's dating situation.
In the "scenes from the next episode" we see that Matthew is hooking up with Jason Lewis, the guy who played Samantha's boyfriend on Sex and the City.
Initially I thought that Lewis would be McCallister's brother, but his name on the next episode will be Chad Berry...probably not McCallister's brother...I'll keep my eye on them of course...