Science fiction is a reflection of today's society.
So why is there so little gay crew?
ST:TOS made TV history in the 1960's with the first interracial kiss when the civil rights movement was ongoing. I'm sure critics called that pandering as well.
I'm sure they did. But the difference is that Trek isn't breaking any ground here whatsoever, and they're going against the wishes of both the original, revered creator (who envisioned the character as straight) and the actor who made the role famous. Put it all together, and it spells fail.
I am not offended by gay characters. I am offended by this senseless pandering. Not because it's gay, but because it's senseless.