Agencies | Governor
Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
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9/13/11  5:35 pm
Commenter: Claire Gastanaga

Restore Protections Against Discrimination to Rules Governing State-Licensed Child Placing Agencies


As a Virginia resident who seeks to live in a truly inclusive Commonwealth, I strongly support prohibiting state-licensed child placing agencies from discriminatiing against children or prospective parents based on sexual orientation (and age, gender, disability, religion, family status, political beliefs, race, national origin and ethnicity).

I recognize that the nondiscrimination provision included in the proposed licensing rules previously approved by the State Board would not fix what I and many other Virginians consider fundamental flaws in Virginia's current adoption laws. Inclusion of the nondiscrimination provision in the final rules as proposed would not and cannot authorize or require second parent adoptions or adoptions by unmarried couples (same sex or opposite sex). Those issues, complicated by passage of the Marshall/Newman amendment, remain to be addressed.

All the nondiscrimination provision proposed by the Board does is: 1)  ensure that no individual person or married couple who seeks to adopt or foster a child is denied the opportunity to do so simply and solely because of who they are or what they believe; 2) ensure that no child is denied the right to services simply and solely because of who he or she is or what he or she believes.

The right to be treated without discrimination based on your religion or your orientation is not something that should be subject to popular vote or majority rule (or decided by counting how many comments there are on this website pro and con).

The right of a child to a loving family should not be denied because of the sexual orientation or religious beliefs or age or disability of a prospective parent or because of the child's orientation or religious beliefs or age or disability. 

I urge the State Board of Social Services to live up to your obligations under the US and Virginia constitutions to protect all Virginians from discrimination and under Virginia statutes to serve the best interests of all of Virginia's children. 

 I ask you to reject the amendments to the final rule urged by the Commissioner which would strip all but national origin, race and ethnicity from the nondiscrimination provisions.   I urge you to restore all of the nondiscrimination protections promised in the proposed rules that the Board previously approved and published.

CommentID: 18083