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Offensive New York Post Critique of "The Kids Are All Right" Demeans Gay Families

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By GLAAD |
July 16, 2010

New York PostThis week New York Post columnist Andrea Peyser wrote a highly offensive critique of the newly released movie, The Kids Are All Right, a movie starring Annette Bening, Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo.

As we told you in a previous blog, in the film, by out filmmaker Lisa Cholodenko, Bening and Moore play a longtime couple who began a family through donor insemination, with each mother bearing a child. As teenagers, the couple’s children decide to track down their donor (Ruffalo) without telling their mothers. The film deals with how the family copes once the donor enters their lives.

The Kids Are All Right has received rave reviews from well-established newspapers like the  New York Times and the Los Angeles Times. While it is nearly impossible to create a film that pleases every critic, NY Post writer Andrea Peyser expressed her dislike for the film while simultaneously disparaging gay and lesbian families. It's clear that Peyser's objection to the film goes far beyond fair criticism and reflects her own personal anti-gay bias.

Peyser is certainly entitled to her opinion but her cheap shots at gay families were over the top and unacceptable.  Here's an extended excerpt from the column, illustrating the offensive tone. Peyser describes "The Kids Are All Right as:

sort of a cross between "Leave it to Beaver" and "Kittens With Whips." Choose your lifestyle wisely, moviegoers. For this film is set to go down in history as the first major motion picture to make a family led by gay women -- A-lister Annette Bening, as the control-freak doctor Nic, "wed" to A-lister Julianne Moore, as the weepy, infantilized Jules -- seem not just normal, but close to godly.

It reaches further than the gay-cowboy romp "Brokeback Mountain," whose characters maintained a sense of otherness while shielding the kids from their shenanigans. In this movie, exposing kids is the entire point.

And this is how Hollywood does an end run around morality.

"Hollywood has set the stage for the gay agenda, nothing new," said Laura Bailey, Brooklyn mom of two boys. "Why do you think they did propaganda films in the 1940s? They're setting the new norm."

"The movie industry is doing its best to undermine the American family," said Patricia Whitehead, Connecticut mom of two girls. "Hollywood -- we don't care about the sick lives you lead behind closed doors. Just don't bring children into it."

This brazen attempt at trend-setting comes as national polls show Americans oppose gay marriage, half of us strongly. Support for it was at 47 percent in this year's Washington Post/ABC News poll -- but fully two-thirds favored civil unions, in which gay couples enjoy most rights of marrieds without having to stand under the chuppah.

It doesn't take a genius to glean the truth: Folks are happy with gays living together. But bringing children into the equation is a deal-breaker.

The column fails to include any gay parents, any adults who were raised by gay parents or anyone supportive of LGBT people. It also leaves out a very important fact: Nearly every credible authority on child health and social services (including the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Child Welfare League of America) has determined that a parent’s sexual orientation has nothing to do with the ability to be a good parent.

Peyser also uses the offensive term "lifestyle" to describe gay and lesbian lives, and concludes her piece with yet another viewpoint against gay parents:

I went to see it in Chelsea, where the crowd was generally smitten. But therapist Karen Kopitz saw through the gay proselytizing.

"I'm not anti-gay," she said. "But I don't think you can compensate for the male-female role model."

Please write to Andrea Peyser and the New York Post and voice your concerns about this offensive column.  Tell them to stop using this media platform to denigrate loving gay families.

Contact:  letters@nypost.com

We also urge journalists covering this film to consult GLAAD's resource guide on The Kids Are All Right. The guide is intended as a tool for journalists and bloggers who want to learn more about the topics covered in the movie and includes talking points on donor insemination, how to discuss gay families and information on real life stories. To view the guide, please visit: http://www.glaad.org/kidsareallright

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