I'd like to highlight a few things about this situation for you to consider:
- It was reported on CNN that the Heenes pitched a reality show idea to the cable station TLC which was rejected.
- The parents' "hoax" was actually a lie and a fraud for which they will likely face legal charges.
- They forced their 3 children to participate in this fraud and set a terrible parental example for them.
- Their fraud cost the police and other authorities considerable time and money, and resulted in a temporary diverting of airline traffic.
- The Heene family participated in an episode of a reality show called "Wife Swap" where two very different families live for some period of time with the other family's wife/mother while camera crews film the resulting tension and family discord.
- Richard Heene refers to himself as a meteorologist, although he possesses nothing more than a high school education.
- Heene sometimes brings the family along when he chases storms, endangering himself and his family.
- A former colleague described Heene as hyperactive, driven by fame and self-promotion.
- According to the New York Post, Heene is convinced that he was once abducted by extraterrestrials, and that Armageddon will arrive in 2012.
- A 911 call from the Heene's home earlier this year raised suspicions of possible domestic violence against Mrs. Heene. During the "balloon boy" incident authorities spoke at length with her about domestic violence as well as the children's safety.
- One can only imagine the emotional trauma inflicted upon the Heene children by their obviously unsteady parents.
Where are the Heene children now? At home with their parents. Sheriff Jim Alderden says the children remain in the home with the parents because authorities "didn't have enough that would allow us or Child Protection Services to physically take the kids."
Really? Not even temporarily, until the parents were either charged or exonerated? Does the list above sound like the description of healthy, fit parents to you? I think not.
But here's the real kicker: Imagine how different the situation would be if Richard Heene were gay and parenting these 3 children. I'd be willing to bet a week's salary that the sheriff and/or Child Protective Services would have removed the children from the home immediately if Keene were gay.
Isn't it ironic that in many states stable gays and lesbians can not be foster parents or adopt children, solely based on their sexual orientation, while the Heenes and others can endanger their children's safety, involve them in illegal activities, inflict emotional trauma, and set an example of bad choices and illegal behavior?
What a sickening double standard.