DEAR HARRIETTE: My father is in the local government and is interviewed for small newspapers frequently. Recently, when asked about his views regarding same-sex marriage, I was shocked to read that he was against it!
I am used to people mentioning his interviews to me, but this stance isn't something I can even pretend to stand behind. I feel like he knows I've read the local paper because we haven't spoken about anything. What should I say to my father? Is a conversation even necessary? Also, when asked about the controversial comments making the town newspaper, do I need to engage strangers? -- Bad Publicity, (Near) Jackson, Mississippi
DEAR BAD PUBLICITY: Given that your father is in local government, he is accountable to his constituency -- including you. Stop tiptoeing around the revelation you read in the paper, and bring it up to him. You can tell him that you were surprised about his position on marriage equality and that you do not agree with him. You can add that you find yourself in an uncomfortable place because many people have been approaching you about his comments. Ask him if you two can have a heart-to-heart. Talk openly about your views on as many topics as you deem important.
Also talk about how to agree to disagree in public discourse. It may be that you end up saying to strangers that they must take up their concerns about your father's position(s) with him. You are independent.