updated 07/01/1996 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/01/1996 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Most correspondents endorsed the notion that gay parents (PEOPLE, June 10) are as capable of being good parents as their straight counterparts, though a minority continues to regard same-sex households as "unnatural." Other readers were critical of Kathie Lee Gifford and skeptical of her explanation that she had known nothing of the sweatshop conditions under which clothing bearing her name was made.

How appropriate that this article appeared the week before Father's Day. I am the adult child of two gay parents. My father passed away two years ago of AIDS. I miss him every day, and I am grateful for the person he was. I am now 28, in a wonderful relationship with a man who treats me the way my father taught me I should be treated. My parents were the best when I was a kid; I would not trade them for anything.
San Jose, Calif.

What a surprise: Families headed by gay parents are just like "normal" families. Get used to it, America. We gays brush our teeth, take out the garbage and do the laundry, just like the rest of you. We also want to give our children what they need—the love and devotion of all their parents.
DANA HOFFMAN, New Britain, Conn.

No matter how many times the media tries to justify same-sex households' raising children, it doesn't make it okay. Adolescence is a tough enough trip to take without the added stress and confusion of not only a divorce but of gay or lesbian parents who simply cannot set the examples children need in order to learn the skills that will help them as adults living in a heterosexual marriage. No kid should have to get into a fistfight to justify his mother's behavior.

I grew up a witness to the abuse inflicted on my mother by my alcoholic father. Today I'm 25 and angry there are people who would begrudge the happiness of a family led by a same-sex couple. I would have welcomed the opportunity to have the loving home life these parents can and do provide.
BILLY SMITH, Cincinnati

In your article about my family, you explained that my three daughters and I went through a painful process when I came out as a lesbian. You failed, however, to show that this process made us an even closer and more loving family. You also didn't explain that we found tremendous support from our friends, not one of whom rejected us because of my sexuality.

As the mother of two grown children whose father, after years of marriage, dropped the bombshell during their adolescence that he was gay, I know the scars and hurt still remain. We felt used, abused and thrown away because Daddy thought he could live a straight life, only to open the closet door and expect us to feel wonderful that he could finally express himself. The lover he left us for has since died of AIDS, and my children live in wait for the call that their dad has it too. He found himself, but we paid the price.

It is funny that anyone could think gays and lesbians "make" kids gay. Why doesn't anyone notice that 99 percent of gays and lesbians today were raised by straight-parent families?

This woman has given millions to children's charities through her books, appearances, TV specials and more. Anyone can see how distraught she is over the discovery of sweatshop conditions. Give her a break instead of more grief.

For Charles Kernaghan to blame Kathie Lee for the sweatshops of the world is cowardice. He could have mentioned this to her when he found out about the situation, six months before he brought out the news cameras.
DIANE M. TODD, Liverpool, N.Y.

It's commendable that Kathie Lee has given millions to help children's charities. However, I'm sure many of her viewers believed, as I did, that all proceeds from her clothing line were going to these charities. She has played on our sympathies, apparently while personally benefiting financially. As long as she pockets one dime of the money raised, we have to ask: Who's really guilty of exploiting children?

If the "overriding" intent of Kathie Lee's alliance with Wal-Mart is a source of funding for crack babies, the profit split should be 90 percent babies, 10 percent Kathie Lee. It's not as if she would be destitute anytime soon.

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