Mar. 13, 2006 – Last week, Catholic Charities of Boston said that it was ending its century-old adoption-services program because Massachusetts law requires it to keep the program open to homosexuals. The announcement followed months of internal turmoil and was met with outrage and accusations of bigotry and hypocrisy from gay-rights groups.
In a statement released Friday, the Archdiocese of Boston said its board failed to resolve conflicts between Catholic Church dictates and the Massachusetts law. Therefore, it said it would abandon the Catholic Charities-administered program at the end of its current contract.
Fridayâ€™s decision by Catholic Charities prompted a quick outcry from the nationâ€™s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights group, Human Rights Campaign (HRC).
In a terse statement, the group said: "Denying children a loving and stable home serves absolutely no higher purpose. These bishops are putting an ugly political agenda before the needs of very vulnerable children. Every one of the nationâ€™s leading childrenâ€™s welfare groups agrees that a parentâ€™s sexual orientation is irrelevant to his or her ability to raise a child."
A number of studies by medical and social-service experts show that sexual orientation has no bearing on child-raising ability. Among the groups finding no reasonable reason to bar gays from adopting children are the American Psychiatric Association, American Family of Physicians and Child Welfare League of America.
Reacting to the Boston Archdioceseâ€™s decision, Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (R) promised Friday to seek an exemption from state law for religious organizations. In a statement promising to file legislation changing the present practice, Romney called the current state adoption law "deeply disturbing" and said "itâ€™s a mistake for our laws to put the rights of adults over the needs of children."
Catholic Charities has been providing adoption services in the state for over 100 years, according to the organization. The current controversy is rooted in a 1993 State Supreme Court finding that Massachusetts law allows same sex partners to adopt children.