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  4:17 pm
Commenter: Mandi Campbell, Liberty Center for Law and Policy

Religious Exemption Requested
Multiple states have passed statutes that prohibit same-sex adoption, as legislators have recognized the harms children face being placed with homosexual parents. The Commonwealth of Virginia has a compelling interest in protecting the children that are currently in its care. The interest of all children is best served when they are placed with a mother and father. Human socialization requires the understanding of relationships between men and women, husbands and wives, fathers and mothers. Homosexual relationships are inherently fatherless or motherless.
Additionally, the state has a compelling interest in ensuring children are not placed with persons that are more likely to develop and based on multiple studies, have an increased rate of depression, substance abuse and suicide, persons that the Center for Disease Control has stated are fifty times more likely to contract HIV-AIDS, and persons who have a shortened life expectancy, all of which apply to individuals engaged in homosexual behaviors. The lifestyle of the homosexual is truly risky and can cause serious medical complications.
However, whether or not homosexuals are fit parents, private adoption agencies, especially those that are religiously based, should have the discretion to refuse to place children with homosexuals and same-sex couples. Requiring religious persons, who believe that engaging in homosexual acts is a sin, to place children in homes where homosexuality is practiced is unconscionable.
Statistically, religious persons and entities are some of the most benevolent in the world, even running adoption agencies, both nationally and internationally. Just last year, one religious entity, the Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington, was forced to shut down its foster care and public adoption program when D.C.’s lawmakers refused to grant a religious exemption for entities like the Catholic Charities, whose doctrine prohibited them from placing children with homosexuals and same-sex couples.
If this non-discrimination law is passed as written, sectarian institutions that provide adoption services will be forced to close their doors or compromise their values, as, in the proposal, there is no religious exemption to the requirement that entities not discriminate based on sexual orientation.
CommentID: 16698