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Gary Younge
Republican disowns lesbian daughter

So when Mr Keyes' only daughter, Maya Marcel-Keyes, declared herself a "liberal queer" at a public rally he lived up to his word. Her parents turned her out of their house, broke off all communication and stopped paying her university tuition fees.

Ms Keyes told a rally supporting gay young people in Maryland: "We have to figure out what we can do to make sure that during those times when it seems like everything in the world is turning against them, like everyone in the world is rejecting them, that they know there are resources out there they can turn to; there are people out there who will say to them, 'I care'."

Ms Keyes joins a list of gay people with rightwing relatives, including Mary Cheney and Candace Gingrich, the sister of Republican congressman Newt Gingrich. But Mr Keyes, a darling of the religious right, has been more outspoken on the issue than most.

Ms Keyes says her parents were "not too pleased" when she came out. "Things just came to a head. Liberal queer plus conservative Republican just doesn't mesh well."

Her older brother has offered her somewhere to stay and she has been given a scholarship to continue at college.

"My daughter is an adult, and she is responsible for her own actions. What she chooses to do has nothing to do with my work or political activities," Mr Keyes said in a statement.

Ms Keyes says she loves her parents and "totally understands" their position.

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