Older Gays to `Pass Torch' to Teen-Agers in March on Mall

By Price, Joyce Howard | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), April 10, 2000 | Go to article overview
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Older Gays to `Pass Torch' to Teen-Agers in March on Mall


Price, Joyce Howard, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


Thousands of homosexual high school and college students will gather on the national Mall at the end of this month, marking the first time homosexual minors will formally participate in a march organized by the gay movement.

Supporters of the march see it as a "way to mobilize the gay community in an election year" to focus more attention on unresolved political issues homosexuals support, said Corri Planck, spokeswoman for the Millennium March on Washington for Equality.

"More and more people are coming out younger . . . and as they come out earlier, they face discrimination earlier," said Dianna Hardy-Garcia executive director of the march.

But many parents and others say the participation of young people in such a march both sad and disturbing.

"This demonstrates the homosexual movement is not looking for mere recognition of the status of equal rights. They want to force their morality on our children, and parents should beware," said Patrick Trueman, government affairs director of the American Family Association (AFA).

Organizers say they expect the march to draw 300,000 persons. This will be the fourth national march the homosexual movement has held in the nation's capital since 1979. It will set forth from the Washington Monument at 10 a.m.

The agenda will include a rally and a ceremony in which older homosexuals "pass the torch to the high school students," said Ms. Hardy-Garcia.

One of the speakers at the rally, Ms. Planck said, will be Sol Kelley-Jones, a 13-year-old girl from Madison, Wis. Sol is the daughter of a lesbian and lives with her mother and her mother's female lover.

The young adolescent, who will be making favorable comments about her unconventional family structure, requested to speak at the rally. "She really has a lot of chutzpah," Ms. Hardy-Garcia said.

Asked if the child believes she too is a lesbian, Ms. Hardy-Garcia said, "Not yet. She says she doesn't know."

Ed Vitagliano, director of research for the AFA, said studies show that "young people around 12 or 13" - Sol's age - tend to be "confused about their sexual orientation."

As a result, he said, they are "very susceptible to pressure and coercion to experiment."

Mr.

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