Fatherly Love: Keyes Disowns Gay Daughter

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Just last summer, arch-conservative Alan Keyes made headlines after entering the U.S. Senate race, not in his native Maryland, but half a country away in Illinois.

I suppose that the effete ignoramus was the best substitute the Republican Party could come up with as a last-minute replacement for a family values candidate pressured to withdraw after his own wife went public about his interest in wife-swapping. At the time, Keyes was sharply criticized for accepting the nomination because he had called Hilary Clinton a carpetbagger for doing essentially the same thing when she ran for the Senate in New York. Desperate for media attention during his ill-fated campaign against Barack Obama, Alan was given to talking in provocative sound-bites on any number of hot-button issues. He even weighed in on Vice President Cheney's gay daughter, and well-before the flap which occurred during the debates.

These were his words then on September 1, 2004: "In a homosexual relationship, there is nothing implied except the self-fulfillment, contentment and satisfaction of the parties involved in the relationship. That means it is a self-centered, self-fulfilling, selfish relationship that seeks to use the organs intended for procreation for purposes of pleasure. This is a teaching moment. If my own daughter were a homosexual or lesbian, I would love my daughter, but I would tell her she was in sin."

Keyes stated that if his own child were a lesbian, he'd tell her she was a sinner, but he'd love her nonetheless. Well, he got his chance to prove himself soon enough, when, lo and behold, his daughter, Maya, informed him that she was homosexual. But the only love he showed her was tough love, kicking the teenager out of the house, disowning her and reneging on his promise to pay her tuition to Brown University, where she'd already planned to matriculate next fall.

I find this two-faced hypocrite's response both disappointing and disgusting, if not surprising. It's disappointing, because as a Black man who undoubtedly encountered considerable obstacles on his way to earning a Harvard Ph.D., Keyes ought to have the sense to appreciate the struggles of his offspring, growing up with three strikes against her, as an African American, as a female and as a lesbian. Despite the impediments and discouragements, she’s negotiated her way thus far through life successfully enough that she’s still Ivy League material. His reaction is disgusting, because experts estimate that about 40% of so-called runaway teens are actually gay kids whose homosexuality was met with hostility at home, the one place they ought to be able to count on for support.

Maya probably permanently burned her bridges with her caveman of a father on Valentine's Day, when she embarrassed him by coming out of the closet on the steps of the Maryland State House.Maya's words: "Things just came to a head. Liberal queer plus conservative Republican just doesn't mesh well. That was making my life a little bit turbulent." But having bravely taken that life-altering step, it is now so important that she be supported by those who fervently believe in gay equality, especially in these scary times when a presumptive red state mandate has the President going out of his way to speak of the state of the union in ways which smack of intolerance.

Black Star columnist Williams, Jr. is a member of the NJ, NY, CT, PA, MA & US Supreme Court bars. For more articles including investigative news reports please click on "subscribe" for the newsstand edition of the Black Star News or call (212) 481-7745.

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