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Alan Keyes’ Daughter a Lesbo

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — The daughter of conservative firebrand Alan Keyes announced her homosexuality at a gay rights rally here Monday, publicly revealing for the first time what had been an open secret during her father’s failed Illinois senatorial campaign.

Maya Marcel-Keyes, 19, spoke only obliquely of her sexual orientation in a brief speech before a crowd of several hundred people outside the Maryland State House.

Though she spoke mainly of the troubles of homeless gay youth, Marcel-Keyes addressed the difficulties she faced growing up as the daughter of one of the country’s most outspoken opponents of homosexual lifestyles and gay marriage.

“Liberal queer plus conservative Republican just don’t mesh too well,” she said.

Her father, who is on the West Coast giving speeches this week, issued only a terse statement about his daughter’s coming out.

“My daughter is an adult, and she is responsible for her own actions,” the statement read. “What she chooses to do has nothing to do with my work or political activities.”

Keyes drew national attention during the Republican National Convention last year when he called homosexuality an act of “sexual hedonism.” Asked later if Vice President Dick Cheney’s lesbian daughter, Mary, is a selfish hedonist, Keyes answered that she is.

A day after that interview, Keyes defended his statements, saying he would feel the same about his own daughter, although he wasn’t questioned about her at the time.

“If my own daughter were a homosexual or a lesbian, I would love my daughter, but I would tell my daughter that she was in sin,” he said.

Marcel-Keyes said Monday that her father’s private stance toward her homosexuality has been consistent with his public statements on the subject.

Last week, she was forced to move out of Keyes’ Chicago apartment because of her sexual orientation and left-wing political activism.

Despite being “finally cut off,” as she wrote in her Weblog, Marcel-Keyes said that she had received an outpouring of support. The Point Foundation has even offered her a scholarship to attend Brown University in the fall, she said.

The gay rights advocacy group Equality Maryland invited Marcel-Keyes in November to speak at the rally, and she considered the decision for a month before deciding to talk about her sexuality.

Her orientation was the subject of constant rumors and speculation during her father’s campaign, when reporters and Internet blogs discovered her online diary, which only thinly disguised her identity.

Nevertheless, questioned about her relationship with her parents Monday, she spoke fondly of them.

“I love my parents very much, and they love me,” she said


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