This is a family photo of Randall Terry, a conservative Republican candidate seeking to unseat Florida State Senator Jim King (R) because King's not sufficiently conservative when it comes to "family values." His top two issues are "protecting traditional marriage" and opposing adoptions by gay parents. You probably best remember Terry from the anti-abortion group he ran known as "Operation Rescue", a group which was known for protesting out in front of abortion clinics and badgering women and abortion clinic employees as they entered the clinics. He also stuck his nose in the Terri Schiavo right to die case.
What is missing from the photo is two of Terry's children, Jamiel and Tila. Both children have been estranged from their father since Jamiel came out to his family as a gay man and Tila gave birth to a child out of wedlock. The Advocate writes:
Jamiel said the self-image that his father is crafting and the campaign message about strong families ignores part of his own family history. He said voters have a right to know about that.
"He is very big on image," Jamiel said. "In a large way Tila and I mess up that image."
Jamiel doesn't support his father's candidacy because he disapproves of his homosexuality. Jamiel also tells the Advocate that his father left Tila to fend for herself when she was pregnant even as he urged other unwed mothers to go through with their pregnancies rather than getting abortions. Terry insists he loves his son and did not abandon his daughter according to the Advocate. Then why aren't Jamiel and Tila in the campaign family photo? "The reason we don't have a photo with Jamiel and Tila is that we haven't been in the same room with them in about three years," Randall said.
That's the whole point of Jamiel's opposition to his father's candidacy. "Both Tila and I have tried to revive or rekindle our relationship with my father, and we've been shut out," Jamiel said. "So maybe if we had been invited for Christmas, Thanksgiving, birthdays, etc., we would be in a family photo." If a candidate is going to talk about strong families, Jamiel thinks his father should talk about why his own family isn't.
Both Jamiel and Tila are adopted children. According to the Advocate, Randall blames the problems he has with his two children on the way the children were treated before they were adopted. That's pretty pathetic. As has been said before and should be said again, family values start at home. If you can't unconditionally love your own children, then how can you campaign on your support of family values? Isn't that what "family values" are really all about? Oh, and did I mention that the big defender of traditional marriage is in his second marriage?