Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Social Services
State Board of Social Services
Minimum Standards for Licensed Private Child-Placing Agencies [22 VAC 40 ‑ 131]
Action Adopt new standards for licensed private child-placing agencies.
Stage Proposed
Comment Period Ended on 4/1/2011
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4/1/11  1:21 pm
Commenter: Ed Burke

Proposed Regulations Discriminate on the Basis of Religious Beliefs

This is to state my belief that the proposed regulations at Part IV, Program Statement, 22VAC40-131-170 (B) 1 & 2, if implemented, will result in unlawful discrimination against a large number of faith-based organizations that have historically played a very strong role in the provision of adoption and foster care services to some of the Commonwealth's most needy children and youth.  These proposed regulations state, in part, that adoption and foster care agencies would be prohibited from "discrimination based on race, color, gender, national origin, age, religion, political beliefs, sexual orientation, disability, or family status..."  This mandate for the inclusion of homosexual individuals in all services related to adoptive and foster care, would force these faith-based agencies to either violate their basic religious beliefs regarding children and families or stop providing services altogether.  The loss of such services would hurt the very children these services -and these proposed regulations- are supposed to help.  Therefore, I would respectfully urge the Department to withdraw the part of this proposed regulation pertaining to "sexual orientation," and, thereby preserve the religious freedoms of the many faith-based agencies which provide (or could provide) these vital services.  

CommentID: 16586