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:

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New Jersey Legislators Back Marriage Equality Bill

Library Sued For Blocking Native American & Wiccan Websites

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


Christopher M.
Christopher M.6 years ago

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

Christopher M.
Christopher M.6 years ago

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....

LD B7 years ago

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

LD B7 years ago

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.

Rebecca W.
Rebecca W7 years ago

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.

paul m.
paul m7 years ago

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

Michelle Knight
Michelle Knight7 years ago

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?!!!

J.L. A.
JL A7 years ago

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

Rosary G.
Rosary G7 years ago

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

Marianna B M.
Marianna Molnar7 years ago