All new characters are risky, and gay characters tend to be new characters. It takes a lot of work to have established characters come out of the closet believably, and yeah, I can see them not wanting to risk their established properties in such a way.
but the sales data doesn't seem to bear that out.
They're trying to appeal to women by publishing comics with names like Diva and </i>Minx</i>, while writing Jan out of every continuity in ridiculous ways. (Still bitter about Giant Girl.) Really, it's no wonder they're having trouble. Have you seen the debacle that is the treatment of women and minorities over in Spider-Man? Unbelievable. Women do buy comics. They bought the crap out of Sandman, and they buy the crap out of manga. If Marvel could start out with not actively insulting women, it'd be a grand start. Ditto treating gay kissing like Kryptonite.