Father fights for his son’s civil rights


Originally published on MSNBC.COM at: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/39438473/ns/local_news-los_angeles_ca/

“My 10-year-old son is right next to me at
political rallies,” said Anthony Duarte, a
30 year-old Angeleno who considers himself
not only a father, but an activist and a “role model.”

“It’s difficult being gay and being a father,”
said Duarte. “The hardest part of being gay is
gaining acceptance by your family members.”

It wasn’t easy.

The La Puente native fathered a child in
college, but only came out after his son was
born.

You can imagine, the family dynamics.

Duarte could only imagine the future.

He jumped into the world of politics with a
focus on equality for Latinos and Gay
Californians.

After years of staying in the dark, he now
encourages others to be who they are in
public, proud of their lesbian, gay, bisexual,
transgender identities.

“My main purpose is visibility for the L.G.B.T
(community) and to recruit more people and
 be noticed” said Duarte.

Duarte tirelessly volunteers for LGBT causes
and campaigns. His focus lately has been on
repealing the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”
policy., even though he’s never served in the
military.

“The biggest accomplishment that I have been
a part of was bringing a panel (discussion
about) don’t ask don’t tell… elaborating on the
damages the program does to the military and
individuals,” the LGBT activist said.

He fights for equality for himself and his peers,
but most importantly for his son.

“At the end of the day, my number one goal is
to be a good role-model for my son.”

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