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Robert A. Bernstein

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Profile created October 17, 2005

Robert A. Bernstein is a former U.S. Department of Justice supervisory trial attorney and law professor. As a free-lance writer, his articles have appeared in more than 60 daily newspapers, including the New York Times, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times. In 1996, he was a “Parent of the Week" on the Oprah Winfrey Show.

  • Straight Parents, Gay Children (1995, Updated 2003) -- Winner Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Human Rights in America' Best Scholarship on the Subject of Intolerance Award
    The courageous and levelheaded Straight Parents, Gay Children, Armistead Maupin comments, "shows the parents of gay children how to stop merely tolerating their kids and start being their heroes." Robert A. Bernstein made this essential move to "heroism" himself after his daughter Bobbi came out to him and her stepmother in the mid-1980s, when she was 19. Soon after, they attended a meeting of P-FLAG (Parents, Friends and Family of Lesbians and Gays) at a nearby church, and Bernstein realized that he had joined a small but powerful group of people unable to support the continued oppression of their gay loved ones. Bernstein brings together stirring quotes (even from such unlikely sources as the late Senator Barry Goldwater) and inspiring stories, like those of Jane Spahr, the first openly gay minister to be called as a pastor of the Presbyterian church (and later denied the post) and of Dr. Roscoe Thorne, a former lumberjack and weightlifter who spoke to a packed room at a military hearing set up to discharge his son from the navy despite his brilliant career as a "Top Gun" pilot. A useful book for therapists, clergy, and educators, and an essential resource for parents of gay and bisexual children. -- Regina Marler, Amazon.com

  • Families of Value:  Personal Profiles of Pioneering Lesbian and Gay Parents (2005)
    Offers a poignant defense of families with same-sex parents, telling powerful stories of families with gay and lesbian parents who are at the forefront of social change in America. By turns hard-hitting and affecting, these stories portray the resistance these brave parents have faced, their views of the current cultural climate, and, most importantly, the intense passion and dedication that they have demonstrated in the course of raising sound, healthy, and well-adjusted children.

    Hailed by one reviewer (Robb Michaels, 365Gay.com Book Editor) as "an excellent read beyond > the political because it focuses on the purely personal." The Library Journal says, "This informative book will appeal to a wide audience and is recommended to all public libraries." Episcopal Bishop and author John Shelby Spong calls it "A major accomplishment" and "A brilliant and persuasive response to those religious conservatives who extol family values, while oppressing homosexual people."

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