Illinois Conservative Activist: Children Should Read Books About Their Same-Sex Parents Dying


The Illinois Family Institute (IFI) has a storied history of making extremely anti-LGBT comments, earning it a designation as a “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center. In a new blog post by IFI’s Laurie Higgins this week, the group takes on a new target: the children of same-sex couples, who Higgins expects would find “joy” in imagining their parents dead.

Higgins targets the American Library Association (ALA) and its upcoming “Banned Books Week,” a campaign to raise awareness about books that are censored or banned from libraries not because of the quality of their writing, but because of objections to the content they include. Her primary concern is that children should not ever see books about same-sex families, deeming any portrayal of a same-sex couple as “homoeroticism” and “sexual perversion.” Instead, she suggests that librarians consider adding the following kinds of books (granting the premise that such books even exist):

  • Young adult (YA) novels about teens who feel sadness and resentment about being intentionally deprived of a mother or father and who seek to find their missing biological parents.
  • Dark, angsty novels about teens who are damaged by the promiscuity of their “gay” “fathers” who hold sexual monogamy in disdain.
  • Novels about young adults who are consumed by a sense of loss and bitterness that their politically correct and foolish parents allowed them during the entirety of their childhood to cross-dress, change their names, and take medication to prevent puberty, thus deforming their bodies.
  • Novels about teens who suffer because of the harrowing fights and serial “marriages” of their lesbian mothers.
  • Picture books that show the joy a little birdie experiences when after the West Nile virus deaths of her two daddies, she’s finally adopted by a daddy and mommy.

“Surely,” Higgins asserts, “there are some teens and children who will identify with such stories.”

Her post was published the same day as the Seventh Circuit, which includes Illinois, ruled against same-sex marriage bans in Indiana and Wisconsin. That decision spoke specifically to how same-sex couples are competent parents, noting that same-sex couples are not only more likely to be raising adopted children, but are also more likely to adopt foster children. Writing for the panel, Judge Richard Posner imagined, not entirely unlike Higgins, how the child of a same-sex couple might be confused if all his classmates have a mom and a dad but he doesn’t. “Children, being natural conformists, tend to be upset upon discovering that they’re not in step with their peers.” Rather than encouraging that stigma as Higgins recommends, Posner instead made the case in favor of marriage equality, because if his parents are married just like his peers’ parents, “the child can feel secure in being the child of a married couple.”


Four of Higgins’ five suggestions target the children of same-sex couples, but one specifically addresses transgender and gender non-conforming youth. IFI has previously advocated for schools to reject transgender identities, opposing any policy that would protect students from bullying and harassment because of their gender identity.