'Homophobia, Censorship and Family Values' Topic of Lecture

Published 10.15.2000


Author and activist Leslea Newman believes the key to ending homophobia is education: the earlier the better.

Newman, who will present a Fall 2000 Lecture Series program on Thursday, Nov. 9, at Pennsylvania College of Technology, says she wrote the children's book, "Heather Has Two Mommies," to teach elementary school students that there are all types of families, and "the most important thing about a family is that all the people in it love each other." The program, sponsored by Penn College's Student Activities Office, will be presented at 8 p.m. in Penn's Inn at the Bush Campus Center.

Newman never thought that a simple children's book would become the second-most banned book in the country. Nor did she expect the inclusion of her book in the Rainbow Curriculum would cost New York City School Chancellor Joseph Fernandez his job. "Heather Has Two Mommies" has been quoted by everyone from Sen. Jesse Helms, R- N.C., to talk-show host Larry King, and the controversy is far from over.

Newman's lecture delves into the issues of homophobia, censorship and family values with knowledge and wit. Her presentation includes readings from her own work, as well as a 15-minute video.