Letters for June 20, 2002

Service with a smile

Perhaps the most ridiculous thing of all is that the state allows gays to be foster parents while preventing them from adopting. Basically, everything the opponents fear could happen under the current system. The only people who get hurt are potential parents, who make a conscious choice to let a child into their lives, and the children, who have to constantly worry that their parent will be taken away. And perhaps that is the bottom line: Children who are stuck in a bureaucratic system with far too few people to look out for them may have a chance to have a "real" family -- a parent or parents who love them enough to take them into their lives.

A boy like Oscar has so many obstacles in this world -- he's dumped into a natural family who never gave a damn about him (the parents, not the grandparents) with almost no chance of making it to adulthood without numerous encounters with the criminal justice system or coming to an ignominious end. Now, he has parents who clearly love and cherish him and seem to spend their lives making sure he has at least a fair shot at making something of his life. I guarantee you there are a hell of a lot of kids in Florida who don't have as good a home life as Oscar.

I just want to cry when I think about all the kids who are born with unlimited potential and are just beaten down by life. How many of them might have been doctors who cured cancer, politicians who changed the world, artists and musicians who brought joy into our lives? How many more kids are we willing to lose? How many lives have to be sacrificed to the old gods of prejudice and hate before we as a society decide we are going to do everything in our power to fight for them, before we give them a fighting chance at the American Dream? Granted, allowing gays to adopt will affect only a few kids. But doesn't it makes sense to give those kids a chance? Isn't having even one kid in a corner office instead of a corner cell enough?

Errol Portman

Coral Gables

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