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Battle Over Brian Batey

August 09, 1987

The article on Brian Batey did little to calm the hysteria over the issue of homosexuals as parents, which was the primary issue of the custody battle between Brian's mother and father ("Brian Batey's Plea for Control" by Ann Japenga, July 27).

The point of the story seems to be that Brian Batey hasn't caught the dread disease of homosexuality yet. An additional point is made that he actually has a mind of his own. Wonder of wonders, a teen-ager with intelligent opinions.

That, however, was not the real issue at hand.

The real issue is whether or not society will allow parents who have life styles our culture does not approve to keep their children.

In the Batey case, I heard very little on whether Frank Batey was a good father. I still wonder whether he provided a loving, caring environment with freedom for Brian to make his own mistakes. I wonder whether he provided Brian with enough discipline to give him security, but not so much that he was afraid. I don't remember those issues being discussed in the press. I wonder if they even came up in court. Instead, I only read and heard incredible accusations--accusations that were obviously false to the most casual observer.

I am straight and have been a single parent since my 8-year-old daughter was 9 months old. Frank Batey and I, along with countless others, have this in common: No matter how well we seem to be doing as parents, there is always a question in some people's minds of whether we might be some sort of secret perverts.

RONALD D. BRAITHWAITE

Solana Beach

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