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‘Heather Has Two Mommies’ Updated to Include Gay Marriage

Mama Kate and Mama Jane wear wedding bands in new edition of groundbreaking children’s book

Leslea Newman

Leslea Newman with a copy of her book "Heather Has Two Mommies" on March 11th, 2015.

Steven Senne/AP

The groundbreaking 1989 children’s book Heather Has Two Mommies has been updated for the present day, with one important change: Heather’s parents are now married. That status is indicated by the presence of matching wedding bands on Mama Kate and Mama Jane’s ring fingers, The Associated Press reports

“I don’t specifically say that they’re married, but they are,” the book’s author, Leslea Newman told the AP. “I don’t know where I could have smoothly inserted that into the text. That’s not what the story is about. The story is really about Heather.”

Newman originally self-published the tale of Heather and her lesbian parents in 1989, playing an important role in reflecting the reality of children raised in same-sex partnerships. It also quickly became a touchstone of the 1990s’ culture wars, with towns across the country attempting to ban the picture book from public libraries and some hostile critics going as far as burning and defecating on their copies.

Newman’s words were even read into the Congressional Record in 1994 as evidence to bolster an amendment to stop federal aid to school districts that “carry out a program or activity that has either the purpose or effect of encouraging or supporting homosexuality as a positive lifestyle alternative.” (That amendment passed in the Senate by a vote of 63-36.)

The book, which had fallen out of print, will be re-released this month by Candlewick Press, with updated illustrations by Laura Cornell. The refresh comes at a time when the momentum of the marriage equality movement shows no signs of abating, with same-sex marriage now legal in more than 70 percent of U.S. states.

In This Article: Gay Marriage, LGBT

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