Agencies | Governor
Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
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9/12/11  9:05 pm
Commenter: Michael Gaw

eliminate discrimination from the adoption process

I thank the state for re-opening the comment process on this important issue, one about which I was not aware the first time around. A lot goes on in the state bureaucracy that the vast majority of citizens don't know much about. I appreciate the opportunity to be heard this time.

I strongly support the re-insertion of language that would prohibit discrimination in the adoption process based on gender, age, religion, political beliefs, sexual orientation, disability and family status.  I am straight, but I have no problem with gay friends and fellow citizens getting married, adopting children, and having families.  I would be ashamed to live in a state that would deny them these opportunities.

I wish in particular to oppose the comment submitted by Jeff Caruso, Executive Director of the Virginia Catholic Conference, submitted on 9/12/11.  In it, Mr. Caruso states: "Many licensed child-placing agencies, including those of Virginia’s two Catholic dioceses, profess deeply held convictions and religious beliefs regarding the institution of marriage, the family unit, and human sexuality.  These agencies have the right, under federal and state law, to make determinations according to their convictions and beliefs.  The proper role of government is to respect and preserve this existing right."  I disagree.  While each church may believe what it chooses, the proper role of government is not to endorse discrimination by private institutions (such as churches).  Should a private institution wish to discriminate, then it should not be employed as an agent of the state (whether for adoptions or otherwise).  Any supporter of the discriminatory language should be challenged to explain: how sad is it that you believe that, for a homeless child, having a gay adoptive family is better than no family at all?

Thank you again for the opportunity to speak up on behalf of many Virginians who might otherwise be denied the right to take in some of our neediest children.

CommentID: 17993