To the Editor:

As an intern at Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, the oldest and largest LGBT law firm in the country, I felt compelled to respond to Mr. Guarnieri’s letter. Massachusetts, in passing a comprehensive anti-discrimination law, effectively banned all sorts of sexual discrimination, including the refusal to grant adoption to same-sex couples.

Forced with the decision to grant adoption to same sex couples, the archdiocese believed it would be in its best interest to end all Catholic adoptions. This does not help the children, but rather creates yet another hurdle in finding homes for the countless children lacking a familial unit.

Guarnieri writes “too often in the debates on homosexuality, we forget that we are not alive primarily for our own benefit, but for the benefit of others.” What Guarnieri overlooks is that this is not a debate on homosexuals. This is a debate about children. Denying a child a home with two competent parents, who will love the child and each other simply because they are homosexual, is not benefiting anyone – least of all, the children left in foster care and orphanages.

According to CBS News, the 42 members of the Catholic Charities voted unanimously to continue placing children in gay households, but were sidestepped by the bishop. Geri Denterlein, a member of the board, stated that “the bishops’ decision undermines Catholic Charities and eliminates same-sex couples from consideration, even if they’re the best choice.” One can not say a heterosexual couple would make better parents than a homosexual couple without thoroughly evaluating the individuals involved.

In addition, not everyone has a mother and a father past biological creation – the idea that this is the only way families are intended is insulting to all children of alternative homes.

My life and my childhood were not shaped primarily by the fact that I had one female parent and one male parent, but rather that I had two parents in a relationship of love, commitment and respect. Forty-nine states currently offer single gay parent adoption, Florida being the exception.

A family is not always made of a mother and a father. A family is made up of individuals – legally recognized or not – who are loving and committed to one another.

Whether one believes in God or not, America’s civil religion is that in which our children deserve better than that which we had. Our duty must be to provide the best homes to deserving children, for staying in foster care would be increasingly worse than the disservice Mr. Guarnieri believes a child of gay men would face.

Our children deserve homes, loving homes, and homosexuals are as equally capable of love as heterosexuals. It is love that truly makes a family.

Sincerely,

Kathryn Barry ’08

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