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Fr. Mark Hodges Fr. Mark Hodges

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‘Highlights’ kids magazine to include same-sex families after flak from gays

Fr. Mark Hodges Fr. Mark Hodges

COLUMBUS, Ohio, November 3, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — One homosexual's complaint to Highlights for Children will result in the inclusion of same-sex families in its magazines with an audience as young as pre-toddlers.

Rod Dreher, an Orthodox Christian columnist for the American Conservative, exposed a concerned parent’s dialogue with the children's magazine, which shows that after gay activist pressure Highlights will now depict homosexuals as "family."

The unnamed Dreher informant shared her correspondence with Highlights editors, who publish the magazine Hello for 0-2 year-olds, High Five for 2-6 year-olds, and Highlights for ages 6-12.

"Our target audience is kids under the age of 12, most under the age of 8 or 9," Highlights editor-in-chief Christine Cully first explained to the concerned parent, adding that stories in the children's magazine "strive to be diverse in every way (by) show(ing) blended families, multi-generational families, and multiracial families."

Cully then committed to the children's magazine positively portraying homosexuality. "In the future, we will depict same-sex families in our magazines … in support of our mission to help children become their best selves and understand that all families, including theirs, are important."

This commitment to promoting homosexuality to pre-adolescents began when a lesbian complained on Highlights’ Facebook page that there weren't any two-mom or two-dad families in the children's magazine.

Kristina Wertz, the lesbian partner of the woman who complained on Facebook, followed up, writing to Highlights, "One of the reasons we appreciate Hello is the diversity represented. ... We are consistently disappointed, however, in the complete lack of same-sex parent" representation.

Wertz worked for the Transgender Law Center in San Francisco for five years, leaving in December 2012 for "Funders for LGBTQ Issues" in New York City as director of engagement. She "married" her lesbian partner, elementary school nurse Kara Desiderio, in 2014.

At first, upon receiving Wertz' complaint, Highlights' editors responded by explaining that they wanted "to give parents the right to introduce the topic (of homosexuality) on their own terms."

“We understand your wish to see your family's situation represented in Highlights' Hello (note: the magazine for 0-2 year-olds). For much of our readership, the topic of same-sex families is still new, and parents are still learning how to approach the subject with their children, even the very little ones. … We believe that parents know best when their family is ready to open conversation around the topic of same-sex families."

Allowing for parental discretion did not satisfy gay activists, who lambasted the publication on social media.  

Self-identified "Queer" Fiona Barnett complained, "This is the most conservative and inappropriate response. Parents know best when to raise the concept that there are lots of types of families?! We aren't an illegal drug. Queer families are families. Get with 2016, Highlights."

Lesbian Nora Landon posted, along with a threat to discontinue subscribing to the magazine, "If parents 'know best' and seeing same-sex families in Highlights would be traumatic, then those parents best stay out of our country's malls, parks, restaurants, and movie theaters, because we are everywhere."

One day later, on October 15, Highlights editors responded with both self-defense and gay-positive assurances:  

"Highlights has a long history of inclusion, and we are always evolving as a company.  We couldn't agree more that diversity should be celebrated, and we strive to do that. Our mission is to help children become their best selves, and you're right, a big part of that is showing them that families are families no matter what they look like. It has always been a discussion of 'how' and 'when' — not 'if' — Highlights would feature an LGBTQ family in our magazines. We're having many discussions internally and thinking deeply thanks to your messages."

But the possibility of featuring homosexuals positively in the future still did not stop the gay pressure.  

Lesbian Tara Pfeifer wrote, "As one mom in a two mom family, I am extremely disappointed that you are not inclusive and welcoming of families with same-sex parents. ... You just lost a family of readers."

Hence, editor-in-chief Cully now officially promises to "depict same-sex families in our magazines."

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