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June 8th, 2012
02:15 PM ET

Children's book "The Family Tree" banned from Erie School District for gay reference – author Todd Parr and Erie school rep explain

There's a major uproar in a Midwest school district over a popular children's book. It's called "The Family Book" written by "The New York Times" best-selling author Todd Parr and the book has won a 2004 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Award.

Thought the book has been available for nearly 10 years, it has just been banned by a school district in Erie, Illinois, because of one single line: "Some families have two moms or two dads."

"There's nobody out here that's against gays or lesbians," Erie School Board president Charlie Brown says. "I mean, I'm not. We've chosen to source our materials from another source at that time for that building."

Author Todd Parr talks to Soledad about the news of his book being banned, and Erie School District Superintendent Bradley Cox explains the district's position on the book.


Filed under: Banned books • Homosexuality
June 7th, 2012
02:18 PM ET

Boy Scouts stall tactic? Jennifer Tyrell on the Boy Scouts of America postponing decision on petition to change anti-gay policy

The Boy Scouts of America is standing firm this morning on its policy banning gays as adult leaders...for now.

At a national meeting last week in Orlando, Scouts leadership was presented with a petition with over 275,000 signatures, demanding the group end its exclusive policy against homosexuals. A spokesperson for Boy Scouts of America says the resolution will be reviewed at next year's national meeting, but for the time being any change to the policy is unlikely.

The petition also calls for the reinstatement of Jennifer Tyrrell, a former Ohio den leader who was ousted last month – a move the scouts say was because of her sexual orientation.

Jennifer Tyrell, who started the petition on Change.org, talks with Soledad about her fight to get the Boy Scouts of America to change their policy.


Filed under: Homosexuality • Petition
June 6th, 2012
10:20 AM ET

EXCLUSIVE: Former NFL player Wade Davis tells Soledad why he waited to come out, says he didn't want to be known for being gay

Wade Davis is well respected football player who spent 15 years trying to crack an opening day roster in the NFL. He attended training camp and played preseason games with the Tennessee Titans, the Seattle Seahawks and the Washington Redskins, along with stints with the NFL in Europe. All that time, he was keeping a secret – one that he says was eating him alive.

He was gay.

When he left football, the first thing he did was go to work for an organization that helps lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth. Davis told his story to "OutSports" and it has quickly gone viral.

In an exclusive interview, Davis tells Soledad why he waited so long to come out publicly.

"I just didn't feel that I was ready," Davis says. "And also that me being a gay person wasn't really what I wanted to be known for. So, having an opportunity to work at the Hetrick-Martin Institute gives me a chance to really talk about lives that I'm able to affect in a real way."

Davis also addresses the pressure of having to hide his secret while trying to perform in a high-profile sport. "It takes up every bit of space trying to understand the game of football, you know, at the NFL level and then trying to just hide who I was for such a very long, long time. I became a great actor. I should get an Oscar for it, honestly," he says.

As for whether his NFL teammates would have accepted his sexuality, Davis tells Soledad he thinks he would have been accepted.

"I don't believe most NFL players have a problem with having a gay teammate," Davis adds. "I do believe that there's a sense that they have to protect who they are."

See more from the interview below. For more information on the Hetrick-Martin Institute, visit Hmi.org.


Filed under: Homosexuality • NFL