...Alan Keyes is the Republican who moved to Illinois last year to run against Barack Obama for the United States Senate. To describe Mr. Keyes as an opponent of gay rights is putting it mildly: during his campaign Mr. Keyes described homosexuality as "selfish hedonism." When asked if he thought Mary Cheney, the lesbian daughter of Vice President Dick Cheney, was a selfish hedonist, he replied, "Of course she is."
Learning that a prominent conservative like Mr. Keyes (or Randall Terry, the anti-abortion-turned-antigay-rights crusader whose son revealed last spring he is gay) has a gay relative is nothing new. Newt Gingrich, for instance, has a lesbian half-sister. But for gays and lesbians there's something particularly satisfying about watching a prominent antigay conservative learn that his or her own child is homosexual. It smacks of cosmic retribution: Mr. Keyes now has to choose between his antigay "pro-family" rhetoric and a member of his own family.
Sadly for Maya Keyes, her father apparently has more affection for his ideology than for his daughter. She says her parents kicked her out of the house and have refused to pay for her education. (Thankfully, some of those evil gay people have come forward to pay her tuition at Brown next year through the Point Foundation.) Perhaps Mr. and Mrs. Cheney could find the time to call Mr. and Mrs. Keyes and explain how parents who actually value their families react when they learn one of their children is gay.
....I live in Seattle with my partner and son. Preventing us from marrying harms my child and does nothing to protect Jeff Kemp's. So in my darker moments I find myself hoping that one day Mr. Kemp will, like Randall Terry or Alan Keyes, find himself listening to one of his children explain that he is gay.
Yet my better angels won't let me wish a gay child on anyone for fear of setting myself up for the gay-parent brand of cosmic retribution that Mr. Keyes brought down on his own head. As the children being raised by gays and lesbians grow into adulthood, it's inevitable that some of them will disappoint their gay parents. One day some prominent gay or lesbian parent - Rosie O'Donnell? Melissa Etheridge? little ol' me? - is going to cringe in horror when Matt Drudge breaks the news that one of our children has become a born-again Christian Republican who condemns his parents for their "selfish hedonism."
I can't imagine one of my sons' coming to me to profess his BACR status and then spiting hatred at his lesbian grandmothers. With four Grandmothers, my sons are perhaps the most fortunate kids in the universe. Even so, if one or both do, I would give them a hug and tell them I love them, for I sure do. They may decide for whatever reason to not return home, but my responsibility as a parent, as the person holding the power and authority, is to always leave the door open.