LETTER- Homophobe by any other name...

In his recent letter to the Hook disavowing any homophobia while fulminating against homosexuality [Letters, September 28: "Don't call me homophobic"], Michael Ellston asks if "our culture's expanding embrace of homosexuality" means that he will have to tell his daughter that it's okay for boys to marry boys, that he will support her if she kisses a girl, and that children don't need a mother as well as a father.

Ellston really should rest assured that he remains free to teach his daughter that it's wrong for boys to marry boys; that he'll throw her out of the house if she kisses a girl; and that children with only one parent (of either gender) and children with two loving adult caregivers of the same sex are doomed. Like every other parent in this country, he has the right to bring up his children as he sees fit.

For my part, I'll continue to teach my children that if two consenting adults want formally to commit their lives to one another, the state has no right to relegate their union to second-class (or worse) status; that I'll love and support them for their beautiful souls, regardless of their sexual orientation; and that children need as many loving, concerned, committed adults in their lives as possible and that simply having a placeholder to fill the "mother" and "father" slots is not the same thing as parenting.

Whether his daughter questions and ultimately rejects his values depends, in my view, on whether she begins to see beyond his prejudices as she grows up. Maybe she'll make a wonderful new friend at school with someone who has two mommies (plus a doting biological daddy)– maybe she'll notice that this friend is as happy and secure and balanced as anyone else she knows.

Or maybe she'll have a co-worker who brings his partner to an office party; she may not realize until that moment that who one chooses to sleep with has very little bearing on what kind of person– ethically, morally, spiritually– one is.

Claire Chantell