It is my understanding that earlier this year the State Board of Social Services upheld the fundamental right of faith-based agencies to continue their great work without governmental intrusion into the practice of their faith. I support this decision. I believe that faith-based agencies have a right, under federal and state law, to make decisions that are consistent with their religious beliefs, including their beliefs about marriage and family life, and that this right must be respected and preserved.
Forcing agencies and individuals to choose between following their own values or following the law would be an unprecedented violation of religious freedom in Virginia. We must strongly uphold religious liberty in our Commonwealth and our country and allow faith-based agencies to continue to provide vital services to our communities.
Michelle H. Grau