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A tale of two

A tale of two


It always comes down to the children. The forces opposed to fair treatment of gay and lesbian families love to claim that gay people want to rub the noses of innocent babes in the ickiness of gay sex.

It's a lie, of course. The truth is, it's straight parents, not us gay folks, who can't get their minds out of our bedrooms. We know you don't have to talk about sex to tell your child that Heather has two mommies--any more than you have to talk about the wedding night when you're showing children your bridal photos.

Far-right lunatics constantly drag children's minds down into the gutter with their own. There's no sex in the charming and beautiful children's book King & King, about a prince who figures out that he'd rather pair off with Prince Charming than Cinderella. Yet Oklahoma lawmaker Sally Kern warned that such books force "6-year-olds to deal with the issue of sexuality."

Really? Did Mrs. Kern's two sons ask her about canine mating after seeing Lady and the Tramp? Is sex what most kids think about after hearing a fairy tale? Or is that just what Mrs. Kern thinks about?

If children need protection, it's from the prejudices and lies of many of their parents. Unless they're carefully taught to be bigots, children couldn't care less who's gay and who's not, who has two daddies or none at all. That's particularly true of children brought up by loving gay and lesbian parents such as those featured in this issue's Gay Parenting 2005 package.

Take Zach, the young man raised since birth by two gay men in Northern California and who graduated from high school last month. When The Advocate called Zach to ask him what it was like growing up with two dads, he couldn't think of anything special to say. They're just his dads--what's the big deal? Bad enough, I suspect, that he had to pose with them for a photo in a dorky commencement robe. I mean, how not cool is that? But having two dads? So what?

The banality of it all could give Jerry Falwell nightmares.

Of course children should be protected. They should be protected from violent or neglectful parents. They should be protected from parents who pass along prejudices that lead to schoolyard bullying and, later in life, hate crimes. They should be protected from parents who reject them or abuse them because of their sexual identity.

In Tennessee there's another teenager, also named Zach (although his identity remains unconfirmed). This Zach recently came out to his parents--who then, he says, sent him against his will to a prison-like antigay deprogramming camp called Love in Action in Raleigh, Tenn. Alerted by Zach's blog (, activists have taken to the streets in Raleigh outside the Love in Action headquarters, demanding that children not be imprisoned for their sexual identity.

Now you tell me: Which child has the better parents? The Zach whose dads are sending a happy, well-adjusted son to college this fall? Or the Zach whose parents have had him locked up?

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