Originally published on Advocate.com January 10 2004 12:00 AM ET
A Tennessee appeals court says a gay father must keep his homosexuality in the closet when his son is around. But the court says it was wrong for a lower court to send Joseph Randolph Hogue to jail for simply telling the boy he is gay. As part of a divorce hearing, Hogue was barred from "exposing the child to his gay lovers and/or his gay lifestyle." Hogue claimed it was an illegal and overly broad restraining order. The appeals court says it found nothing wrong with the lower court shielding the child from the gay influences. But the court did agree with Hogue that the order didn't specifically bar the father from telling his son about his sexual orientation. A complaint filed by the wife's attorney said Hogue told the boy that ''when someone is gay, they are born like that.'' He told his son that he was old enough to understand and that his boyfriend was in love with him, according to the complaint. Hogue was sentenced to two days in Williamson County Jail in September 2002 for breaking the restraining order.