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Virginia Senate Approves Anti-Gay Adoption Bill

Virginia Senate Approves Anti-Gay Adoption Bill

 

The Virginia state Senate on Tuesday gave final approval to a bill that enshrines a “conscience clause” for religious organizations to discriminate against prospective adoptive parents based on their personal characteristics, including their sexual orientation and gender identity.

The Senate approved the measure 22-18.

From On Top Magazine:

Two Democrats, Senators Charles J. Colgan and Phillip P. Puckett, helped all 20 Republicans get the measure through the chamber.

[...]

The measure now heads to the desk of Republican Governor Bob McDonnell, who has said he supports the legislation.

Speaking earlier on the Senate floor, Democratic Senator Adam P. Ebbin, the chamber’s first openly gay member, called the measure “morally wrong.”

The House previously voted 71-28 to pass the legislation.

The measure, sponsored by Delegate Todd Gilbert and Senator Jeffrey McWaters, both Republicans, affirms that religious agencies can discriminate based on their ethos and is being billed as a measure to protect religious freedoms. Others have called out the legislation as anti-gay discrimination.

Virginia only allows married couples to jointly adopt, meaning that there is an existing discriminatory aspect to adoption rules given that same-sex couples cannot marry in the state.

This push to change the law came about after the Virginia Board of Social Services decided to abandon its anti-discrimination rules based on personal characteristics including race and sexual orientation in favor of a blanket anti-discrimination policy.

As mentioned above, Republican lawmakers then pushed legislation to create a “conscious clause” so that religious organizations can continue to deny placement based on their beliefs and still receive state funds.

Specifically, the legislation sanctions the right of state-funded agencies to refuse to approve adoptions and foster care placement to a gay individual or others, based on religious or moral factors. The bill also protects said facilities from damage claims by the persons they discriminate against.

Leslie Cooper of the American Civil Liberties Union has reportedly condemned the bill, saying: “It’s a license for child welfare agencies to make decisions based on their own religious beliefs rather than the child’s needs.”

TAKE ACTION!: Tell Gov. McDonnell to reject the “conscience clause” bill.


Related Reading:

V.A. Board Defies Cuccinelli, Votes for Nondiscrimination

New Jersey Legislators Back Marriage Equality Bill

Library Sued For Blocking Native American & Wiccan Websites


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Image used under the Creative Commons Attribution License with thanks to nerdcoregirl.

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67 comments

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4:18PM PST on Nov 19, 2012

I had a colleague leave for Washington state, which recently passed gay marriage. I felt like Virginia was Nazi Germany....

4:17PM PST on Nov 19, 2012

I am not surprised. I live in Alexandria. Why have one law to stick it to homosexuals when four or five laws will really make them feel unwelcome? Virginia is for haters, anti-gay, anti-welfare, anti-illegal-alien....

11:14PM PST on Feb 29, 2012

In case you've not noticed, Kute K., you wandered into the wrong church; this is not the House of Bigotry.

11:08PM PST on Feb 29, 2012

Adoption services are secular in nature, not religious. Therefore, a church has no grounds for expecting that its beliefs play a proper role in the provision of such services.

11:10AM PST on Feb 28, 2012

Personally, I`m torn on this issue. On one hand, I fully support gay couples being able to adopt, and on the other hand, I believe a religious group should not be forced to go against their religious values (within reason). There are other adoption agencies out there, I see no reason why a gay couple couldn't go through a secular agency instead.

8:00AM PST on Feb 27, 2012

Thanks for this and I agree with Joe R.....

4:36PM PST on Feb 25, 2012

At some point those Bigoted/Racist/ Morally & Ethically Corrupt HYPOCRITS are going to have to pay for ALL of their sins!!! Maybe at that point they will come to understand that at this time they should have been searching themselves & into their darkened hearts & souls to find ways to help make the world & Life better for ALL, instead of entertaining constant Witch-Hunts to see who they wanted to persecute next!!!!! You'd have to be a terribly sick/dsyfunctional/irrational/& hateful person to believe thst it would be better to leave children homeless & Parentless rather than let people who would LOVE them adopt & raise them! But then again that gives them a whole different set of people to later oppress & victimize, so I guess it ALL pans out for them, huh?!!!

6:12AM PST on Feb 25, 2012

another vote justified by myths at odds with the science and research on the subject.

5:16AM PST on Feb 25, 2012

Who voted for these cretans???????? It's like "Nightmare in Virginia" every freaking day in that state; truly unbelievable.

4:11AM PST on Feb 25, 2012

THANKS

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