Adoption Debate In Virginia Hits The Legislature

Picture 24Last month in Virginia, the VA Board of Social Services "finalized regulations" peeling back discrimination protections encoded in the state's adoption laws, according to the AP, allowing religious adoption agencies receiving state moneys to discriminate against prospective LGBT parents. Some legislators approved, some were aghast, and now they're duking it out in the state's General Assembly. From the AP:

Sen. Adam Ebbin, D-Alexandria, has introduced legislation that would bar Virginia from contracting with or funding agencies that discriminate against children or otherwise eligible prospective foster or adoptive parents solely on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, family status, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity.


Sen. Jeffrey McWaters and Del. Todd Gilbert have introduced so-called "conscience clause" bills that would reinforce the Department of Social Services regulations and protect private, faith-based child-placement agencies.

The measures would allow private organizations to deny placement if doing so would go against their religious beliefs — including opposition to homosexuality. The measures also would bar the Department of Social Services from denying or revoking a placement agency's license solely on the grounds that it has refused to allow adoptions or foster placement based on sexual orientation, and would protect agencies from legal action stemming from such decisions.

Pro-gay Sen. Ebbin insists that "some of the best parents he knows" are gays and lesbians; pro-religion Rep. Gilbert doesn't disagree, and insists the conscience clause won't impact the freedoms of charities run by pro-gay religious groups. At least in the AP story, neither man addresses the fact that these conflicts are 100% intractable as long as America's Big Religion industry is subsidized by taxpayers.


  1. says

    As far as I’m concerned, faith-based placement agencies should NOT exist. No state funding (i.e., tax dollars from state residents) should go to any religious or faith-based organization. Funding for religious organizations should come directly and ONLY from members of that religion. Religious organizations should have no power of adoption of a child and that would be in the best interest of all children.

  2. Mark says

    Apparently, they don’t get the separation of church and state concept……..

    Any religion receiving state funds must comply with state law. If they don’t want to comply with discrimination statutes, then they shouldn’t receive any state funding.

    simple! 😀

  3. Billy F. says

    Adam Ebbin is my state Senator, and we are thrilled to have him, not only because he’s pro-gay, but because he’s OPENLY GAY, the first openly gay state Senator in Virginia history.

  4. Todd says

    I would think at this point that there should be a tax deduction then for individuals opposed to any of their tax dollars going to institutions that would discriminate against them. Can someone say counter lawsuit?

  5. Paul R says

    Yeah, all those “pro-gay religious groups” in VA. The state is just crawling with them.

    There are some nice religious people in VA. Until they find out you’re gay or not a Christian.

  6. Mark says

    My partner and I lived in Virginia for 10 years, we could not WAIT to get the hell out (we were raising 2 children at the time). We now live in New York and the difference between state governments attitudes towards gay is like comparing a turd to a diamond.

  7. Paul R says

    After two car accidents in VA, before the ambulances arrived, I was once annointed with oils and the other time while the road was closed (big accident) people prayed over me. Then one of the prayer guys (the most dramatic, big surprise) wouldn’t leave my family alone about seeing me again. I said no very sharply; clearly a weird closet case. Once you leave the main cities, it is all kinds of crazy. Even Richmond is crazy.

  8. says

    The scary teaser always seems to be: “Same-sex marriage threatens the rights of those who oppose it.” Actually, any legal protection from discrimination more than “threatens” discriminators — it outlaws their “right” to discriminate! Though protections for churches and clergy are written into the same-sex marriage laws, some still worry that Christians may not be “comfortable” offering services to same-sex couples. Well, are they comfortable offering services to non-Christians, the divorced and remarried, mixed-race couples? Are they comfortable when loving their “enemies” as they love themselves?

    It’s been said that gay couples will take offense if they are not offered the same services traditional couples receive. Well, if the haves take offense when the have-nots get to have, why wouldn’t the have-nots take offense over the haves’ continuing selfishness?

    Perhaps this is something we need to think about too.

    -Alex Haiken

  9. grego says

    South of Alexandria, Virginia is not the most enlightened State. Just look to Loving vs. Virginia to know that justice comes to Virginia reluctantly, by way of the Federal Bench.

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