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June 21, 2010

Updated: Gay Md. legislator is White House fatherhood mentor

Maryland State Sen. Richard S. Madeleno Jr. is reported to be among those invited by President Barack Obama to a Father's Day mentoring barbecue on the South Lawn of the White House today.

Obama, raised by a single mother after his father deserted the family, has made fatherhood a theme of his presidency. He held a similar event, on the Friday before Father's Day 2009. On hand for that cookout -- overseen by celebrity chef Bobby Flay -- were several hundred young men, community mentors, figures from the sports world, Obama administration officials and other fathers.

This year's commemoration, the morning after Father's Day, will feature a speech by Obama at an event in southeast Washington. Then, he'll return to the White House for the cookout, where those in attendance will be looking for shade from the summer heat (no way to avoid breathing the unhealthy air, though, the city under a Code Orange air quality alert).

Madaleno, a Montgomery County Democrat, is the first openly gay member of the Maryland state Senate. He and his partner are raising two adopted young children.

Others expected to attend the White House event, according to Mike Allen's Playbook: Dr. Robert Franklin, President of Morehouse College; Chuck Close, noted painter; Swin Cash, Seattle Storm, WNBA; Robert Wolf, CEO, UBS Group America and member, PERAB; and Jim Gates, renowned theoretical physicist.

Judging by at least one of those on that guest list (Swin Cash), this year's event may be expanded to include young women as well as men.

At today's White House briefing, deputy press secretary Bill Burton was asked about a line in Obama's Father's Day proclamation that referred to a situation similar to Madaleno's, in which two men are raising children.

Here's the exchange:

Q On another subject, the Father’s Day proclamation, the President here talks about the different kinds of families that are out there and he talks about fathers -- children who were raised by fathers and mothers, a single father, a stepfather or grandfather, and two fathers. Why was it so important for the President to include that in the proclamation, the two fathers?

MR. BURTON: He was just trying to be inclusive of all sorts of families, just like he was on the Mother’s Day proclamation.

Here's the text of the proclamation, released late Friday afternoon in advance of Father's Day weekend:

- - - - - - -
From the first moments of life, the bond forged between a
father and a child is sacred. Whether patching scraped knees
or helping with homework, dads bring joy, instill values, and
introduce wonders into the lives of their children. Father's
Day is a special time to honor the men who raised us, and to
thank them for their selfless dedication and love.
Fathers are our first teachers and coaches, mentors and
role models. They push us to succeed, encourage us when we
are struggling, and offer unconditional care and support.
Children and adults alike look up to them and learn from their
example and perspective. The journey of fatherhood is both
exhilarating and humbling -- it is an opportunity to model
who we want our sons and daughters to become, and to build
the foundation upon which they can achieve their dreams.
Fatherhood also carries enormous responsibilities.
An active, committed father makes a lasting difference in the
life of a child. When fathers are not present, their children
and families cope with an absence government cannot fill.
Across America, foster and adoptive fathers respond to this
need, providing safe and loving homes for children facing
hardships. Men are also making compassionate commitments
outside the home by serving as mentors, tutors, or big brothers
to young people in their community. Together, we can support
the guiding presence of male role models in the lives of
countless young people who stand to gain from it.
Nurturing families come in many forms, and children may
be raised by a father and mother, a single father, two fathers,
a step-father, a grandfather, or caring guardian. We owe a
special debt of gratitude for those parents serving in the
United States Armed Forces and their families, whose sacrifices
protect the lives and liberties of all American children. For
the character they build, the doors they open, and the love
they provide over our lifetimes, all our fathers deserve our
unending appreciation and admiration.
United States of America, in accordance with a joint resolution
of the Congress approved April 24, 1972, as amended (36 U.S.C.
109), do hereby proclaim June 20, 2010, as Father's Day.
I direct the appropriate officials of the Government to
display the flag of the United States on all Government
buildings on this day, and I call upon all citizens to observe
this day with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.
Let us honor our fathers, living and deceased, with all the
love and gratitude they deserve.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this
eighteenth day of June, in the year of our Lord
two thousand ten, and of the Independence of the United States
of America the two hundred and thirty-fourth.
# #

Posted by Paul West at 5:25 PM | | Comments (29)
Categories: Washington


How sad and twisted and perverted that anybody has to resort to the TITLE of


When will we see the headlines state:
Hetero Delegate is invited.....

The FIRST thing we need to know about legislooter is NOT WHO THEY HAVE SEX WITH!!!! Thats just disgusting!

It's sad when our values have been so confused that even the President of the United States things that someone with perverted sexual practices can be a mentor. What traditional, manly values can he teach another male? This is the reason that this next generation is going to be so messed up. CORRECT, biblical family values are no longer the norm.

Yeah, Anonymous .. I, too, look forward to the day when you no longer care about the sexuality of your legislator, your kids' teacher, your pastor, the guy your son is dating ... but we're a long way from that day, aren't we? Until that day comes, you and I will continue to see men (and women) publicly describing themselves as "gay whatever." When we are are all comfortable with the notion with Gay folk are among our neighbors, family, and leaders, our sexuality will no longer be front and center in this way.

An apt parallel might well be how that headline might have read fifty years ago: "Negro Legislator is White House Fatherhood Mentor." (Think how weird that sounds today.) We've come a long way in fifty years, haven't we ... but work remains to be done.

By the way, "Hetero" legislators don't need to be labeled in this way, because heterosexuality is assumed.

GAY is not something that those who are shout from the rooftops. It is something used by the media and orators to inflame or excite the poor huddled masses who have no mind of their own but wait to be herded from pillar to post like so many sheep to the to be shorn of all that they own.

@Rob: I'm sure he can teach his children respect for other people for starters. Sexual orientation has nothing whatsoever to do with the ability to be a good parent. Or do you seriously think that an orphanage would do a better job than two loving fathers?

You're the one with perverted values. Step up to the 21st Century.


I don't know Senator Madeleno, and I know nothing about his family life. I presume you know as much. I assume he and his partner teach their kids the values of family, honesty, commitment, and public service, among others. Are these not sufficiently "manly" for you? Or would you rather these children lean hypocrisy, deceit, and sanctimony? Or perhaps you would prefer they be left parentless to flounder in foster care?

I think it's great and if people are offended fine, leave maryland !

Rob...perhaps your values are no longer the norm for a reason. If they are so "CORRECT" why then are so many others finally realizing that people are really just people? It's stereotypes like the one you stated (that this man cannot teach his son "manly" values because he is gay) that are truly sad and outdated. The only thing that is confusing is why people like you insist on standing behind their biblical values to justify their fear and bigotry. MY God loves all his children.

So sad that two uneducated folks that must be local Marylanders decided to slader this article. One gay man gets invited to something ment for fathers (BTW-in this contry, gay couples have a history of lasting longer than hetero couples plus they usually bring up more well adjusted children)and all you can say is why should a gay delegate go?

yeah, whatever happened to those fine biblical values like incest and killing your children because god told you to????


The "title" of GAY before someone's name will be NECESSARY as until folks like you cease to write silly comments using words like "perverted" when discussing homosexuality.

And, as long as haters like "Rob" think that only heterosexual men can be "manly" enough and have "manly values" to teach other males.

The hate in both of your comments is beyond sad. Step into the 21st century with the rest of us, meet a gay person (likely someone in your own family), and grow up.

That's the sign of a "real man."

Glad to hear that Gay parents are being honored at the President's Father's Day celebration. It's about time.
Del.Dwyer must be choking on K-Y right about now...

Dear Rob,

It's because of people like you why we NEED more men like Legislator Madeleno Jr to act as mentors!

I pray you are NOT in a position to mentor young generations -- I fear the next generation picking you your hatred and that's something we've all had enough of sir!

"Obama, raised by a single mother after his father deserted the family, has made fatherhood a theme of his presidency."
Since you are adept at re-posting Obama campaign talking points, Mr. West, I must conclude that Mr. Obama is an abject failure.
In Baltimore, the illegitimacy rate still exceeds 70%. Absentee fathers are the order of the day. Single-parent families are the biggest reason for poverty today. Yet the Obama Regime parrots the "redistributon of wealth" theme (a way to troll for votes) while ignoring the sociopathology of derelict parenting.

Well listen to the hate spewed by these homosexuals. And I thought that those who have been demanding tolerance and acceptance by others, would be the FIRST to tolerate and accept those who do not believe in the homosexual lifestyle!
I was wrong!
Isn't that THE definition of HYPOCRISY?

To Mr. Scaredy Cat Anonymous,

A. I am not homosexual
B. Tolerance doesn't mean not speaking out against those who are stupid and hateful. Stupidity and hate are things you can address by educating yourself, unlike sexual orientation, which isn't a lifestyle, but rather is programmed into you.

We tolerate your existence, but we reserve the right to call you on your idiocy.

Anonymous...why do you assume those of us standing up for equality, respect and understanding for EVERYONE are homosexuals? Because we believe that we should all be treated equally and not subjected to being called a "pervert"? Perhaps there are just people in this world that are tired of ignorant bigots that are fille with so much hatred for something they just don't understand. I persnoally don't believe that discrimination should be something that we just "tollerate". How will things ever change if we don't stand up for what we believe is right?

Well said Skip. We wouldn't HAVE to speak out if people like Anonymous and Rob weren't so intent on voicing their hatred for all to see. For the record, Anonymous and Rob, I don't hate you for what you believe...but I do feel the need to fight the good fight for what I believe.

I, for one, am a happily out (to friends, neighbors, family, and co-workers) Gay man. I also happen to have a twenty-five-year-old daughter.

Anger is not hate. Frustration with ignorance is not hate. Pursuit of equality before the law is not hate. Nothing that has been said in this exchange in response to the slurs directed toward Senator Madeleno and his family could be remotely described as "hate."

I have never understood those who say they don't "believe in the homosexual lifestyle" (whatever he hell that is...). No one is asking for you to sign up. Homosexuality isn't something you "believe in," like the Lions Club or the Republican Party What we are asking is that you acknowledge our citizenship and admit us as fellow (equal) members of your community. That's all.

These homersexuals and their friends are a bunch of intolerant bigots!
No one hates anyonr else! MOST, yes MOST people do not agree with the homers but do nothing to interfere with them as long as its not shoved down our throats, so to speak.

I mean we know you all are a polite group. Always wanting to push someones stool in when they sit down. Just like the old days of chivalry.

@ anonymous and @Rob, You two make a great pair.


Tired, stupid jokes and repeated illiteracies do little to promote your point of view.

Sadly, it's obvious that people like anonymous will never learn. Not just about human sexuality, but a plethora of other subjects, no doubt. The best we can do as a society is live our lives, keep moving forward, and have faith that love will overpower ignorance in the end.
"Don't fight the darkness, bring the light!"

Funny myself and my live in girl friend (hetrosexuals) can't adopt a child in the state of Maryland, yet two guys can legally adopt children to share thier rediculus life style. May God continue to bless America even with her silly ways.

Let's see an hetrosexual couple can't adopt a child in the state of Maryland, but two guys living together in real sin with nothing legal about thier union can . May God continue to bless America even with some of her siily ways.

Hey anonymous...maybe they were afraid you would pass your bad spelling along to the kids. It's ridiculous, dullard.

Congratulations to thte President and to Senator Magdaleno.

The true perverts are those who feel they need to condemn people who are minorities to satisfy some strange longing in their soul, while violating Jesus 2nd of only two commandments - "to love thy neighbor as thyself".

And their perversion showss in their being too interested in other people's bedrooms. Its called secret desire.

And that includes Dwyer - I have several gay friends who have taught me how to recognize gay people - its subtle, but once you know how, it's obvious. And his obsessing about gays shows his own self hatred.

And then there is State Sen. Dxxxx - another rabid, secretly gay, self hating gay person.

And an endless list of others all over the country - almost all republicans. Like MInister ted haggard, who ranted against gays, then got outed by his gay prostitute boyfriend. He then claimed he was cured" and then got caught again.

And Ray Ashburn from the CA leglislator - totally anti gay, caught leaving a gay bar. He blamed his car for "taking him there", and demanded Toyota issue a recall. At least he finally told the truth about himself, he should be congratulated.

And remember Fed Senator Craig? Its always this way - hatred induces self hatred, and they try and hide behind their selfhatred

Bottom line is that denigration of gay people, religious based,is a poison in our society. But it's coming to an end. It is no different, and perpetrated mostly by the same people who hated Jews, and Blacks, justified slavery per the bible etc.

America will soon join the 21st century, like Western Europe. Where only two countries - Italy and greece do not legally recognize gay unions. As do another 20 or so, including eg Israel, Repub of South Africa, Nepal, Australia, Canada,chech republic, Uraguay, Columbia, Mexico city etc etc.

And in the last month two countries legalized gay MARRIAGE - Iceland by a unanimous vote, and very catholic Portugal.etc. It's also in process in Argentina,

Oh the gate from the fairies!

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About the bloggers
Annie Linskey covers state politics and government for The Baltimore Sun. Previously, as a City Hall reporter, she wrote about the corruption trial of Mayor Sheila Dixon and kept a close eye on city spending. Originally from Connecticut, Annie has also lived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where she reported on war crimes tribunals and landmines. She lives in Canton.

John Fritze has covered politics and government at the local, state and federal levels for more than a decade and is now The Baltimore Sun’s Washington correspondent. He previously wrote about Congress for USA TODAY, where he led coverage of the health care overhaul debate and the 2010 election. A native of Albany, N.Y., he currently lives in Montgomery County.

Julie Scharper covers City Hall and Baltimore politics. A native of Baltimore County, she graduated from The Johns Hopkins University in 2001 and spent two years teaching in Honduras before joining The Baltimore Sun. She has followed the Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pa., in the year after a schoolhouse massacre, reported on courts and crime in Anne Arundel County, and chronicled the unique personalities and places of Baltimore City and its surrounding counties.
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