BOGOTA, Columbia — A Catholic Archbishop has strongly criticized a family court judge’s decision to allow Chandler Burr — a former contributing editor to U.S. News and World Report and columnist for The New York Times — to adopt two Colombian boys, suggesting that because Burr is gay, he may become sexually attracted to his children.
In an interview Tuesday in the Spanish-language newspaper El Tiempo, Archbishop Juan Vicente Cordoba said that Burr suffers from a “disorder of sexual identity” which will affect his relationship with his children and suitability as a father.
“I do not know him and I am not accusing him of anything, but one thing is clear and that is that he has homosexual tendencies and he is going to receive a boy of 10-years-old and an adolescent of 13, and between them there won’t be a father-son relationship,” said Cordoba.
“He will receive two children at an age when they may be attractive to him, which could be a temptation.”
The Archbishop, who holds a post-graduate degree as a psychologist, claimed that homosexuality was universally considered by mental health professionals to be a “disorder of sexual identity.”
In fact homosexuality was removed as a disorder from the DSM — the Diagnostic and Statistical Manuel, considered the psychiatric world’s “bible” — in 1994.
When asked whether the children were at risk, Cordoba suggested that it was not advisable to have allowed a homosexual man to adopt male children, given his tendencies, and that female children may have been safer in Burr’s care.
Alejandro Ordoñez, Colombia’s Inspector General and known for his conservative Catholic views, supported the bishop’s opposition to the adoption, given that “there are apparent contradictions regarding the validity of his intimate relationships with same sex individuals.”
Burr had traveled to Colombia in March
2011 to adopt the two boys. While he was finalizing the adoption paperwork and visas he casually disclosed the fact that he is gay.
Authorities from the Colombian Family Welfare Institute (ICBF) took the boys and after a round of publicity in the U.S. and
local media, the ICBF’s Director Diego Molano said that at the request of the ICBF, Burr and the children underwent psychological tests.
During the subsequent interview and background investigation, the two children indicated that they had no objection to their adoptive father’s sexual orientation and both stated that they wanted to be with him.
The family court judge in charge of the case took into account the opinion of the children, as well as a newly passed anti-discrimination law in Columbia that deals with gay men and adoptions ruling in favor of Burr. The judge ordered the ICBF to return the two boys to the custody of their adoptive father.
Upon hearing of the judge’s decision Burr said that he is happy and feels that with his case “it [the country] has advanced.”
The Burr family — Chandler, Joe and Brian — are now back together, and preparing to spend the Christmas holidays together as a family in New York City, where Burr resides.