I never thought the day would come when I would disagree with Bill Raspberry {"A Special Case of Discrimination," op-ed, Oct. 14} Mr. Raspberry contends that a gay or bisexual man should be rightfully denied the opportunity to become a "Big Brother" to a fatherless boy on account of the fact that someone with these sexual predilections cannot possibly serve as a "good" role model. Mr. Raspberry concludes that this is "good" and "necessary" discrimination. He gives sexual minorities no reprieve; they are, apparently by their very nature, devoid of the qualities that would allow them to be role models.

I am more surprised that Mr. Raspberry, as a black man, could make an argument for "legitimate" discrimination. Throughout our time in America we blacks have had, and in some instances continue to have, that same argument leveled against us. Discrimination under the name of "separate but equal" was okay because blacks and whites were different. Just give them equality in their separation. What a sham that was!

Mr. Raspberry fails to consider that right under his nose are sexual minorities who are functioning well in society and have gained the respect of many. The difference may be that these people have not identified themselves, while the car salesman in California has. It could very well be that they feel hampered Mr. Raspberry's kind of thinking, which would deny them a chance to go about sharing in and contributing to life as do those in the majority.

Does this sound familiar? It happened to us black folks on a much, much grander scale.

MARK F. JOHNSON Washington

William Raspberry's column objecting to the ACLU defense of gay Big Brothers implied that most gay men are not imbued with the same decent, human motivations and concerns for the proper upbringing of children as their straight counterparts. A very large and offended group of people has been indicted by Mr. Raspberry as being "aberrant." Certainly no one would suggest that heterosexual men should be disqualified from adopting young girls for the sole reason that they are "straight" and therefore suspect. When looking for a well-qualified Big Brother, I would hope that the character and temperament of a candidate would be more important factors than his sexual orientation.

MIKE O'MEARA Washington

In a week when, as Post headlines put it, "hundreds of thousands" of people converged on Washington to demonstrate their support for the rights of homosexuals, it was disturbing, disappointing and cruelly ironic to see William Raspberry dismiss such struggles as "folly."

Though Mr. Raspberry, ever the liberal of good conscience, claims to find "gay-bashing" "highly offensive" and "repugnant," his defense of the Big Brother organization's desire to exclude gay men across the board as inappropriate "role models" for fatherless boys is gay-bashing of the highest and most insidious order.

One wonders if Mr. Raspberry would tolerate such blanket generalizations about any other minority group. One wonders if he would so blithely "draw the line" if Big Brother were defending the right to exclude black men from the program as inappropriate "role models" for white children -- or Jewish men for Christian children, or poor men for wealthy children.

The case Mr. Raspberry cites, far from being a "folly" of the American Civil Liberties Union, is proof of how tragically far we are from recognizing the civil rights of all Americans and from tolerating the diversity that is supposedly the backbone of this nation.

MARILEE LINDEMANN Takoma Park