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July 17, 1994|CHARLES SOLOMON

FAMILY VALUES: A Lesbian Mother's Fight for Her Son by Phyllis Burke (Vintage: $11; 233 pp.). As Burke prepared to adopt her lover's baby as a "second mother," she found herself taking an increasingly active role in the battle for both women's and gay and lesbian rights. Her politicization crystallized around the filming of "Basic Instinct" in San Francisco and the increasing use of "family values" in the anti-gay rhetoric of the religious right. Burke's simple thesis, that a family is defined by love and nurturing, rather than blood ties, challenges the ideologues who seek to legislate their religious beliefs, trampling the rights of others in the process.

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