“Hedwig” Parents: Tearing Down a Wall

Joan Cameron Mitchell and her husband, retired Army Maj. Gen. John H. Mitchell, holding a photo of their son John. Photo by Helen Richardson, The Denver Post

Devout pair commit to the long-haul struggle between their beliefs and their unwavering love for their son.

Colorado Springs – Denver Catholic Archbishop Charles Chaput’s picture hangs in honor next to a watercolor of Jesus Christ in the prayer room that artist Joan Cameron Mitchell had carved into the basement of her custom home.

Upstairs on the coffee table rest two books: Chaput’s “Living the Catholic Faith” and Army Gen. Tommy Franks’ “American Soldier.”

The latter belongs to her husband of 44 years, retired Army Maj. Gen. John H. Mitchell. He was in charge of all U.S. military forces in West Germany and stood behind Ronald Reagan in 1987 as the president famously implored, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”

Joan, who attends Mass daily, has been asked how she reconciles her church’s position on homosexuality.

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