Faith-based agencies, as well as many birthparents and prospective adoptive parents, believe that one pillar of civilization is traditional marriage and family life. Often this belief is based on religious teachings, but it also reflects an unwillingness to abandon an institution – traditional marriage – that has existed for thousands of years. There are concerns not only about how the traditional family’s decline over the past half century has affected our culture, but also over the possible unknown and unintended consequences of its outright demise.
Agree or not, these are deeply held beliefs by many individuals. As long as the best interests of adopted children are paramount, faith-based agencies have the right to make decisions consistent with their beliefs without government interference. Since the “rights” of prospective adoptive parents are a secondary consideration to needs of prospective adopted children, anti-discrimination protections for same-sex couples don’t apply.
The effect of forcing agencies to choose between following their own values or adhering to government-imposed protections for same-sex couples would be that many of these faith-based agencies would cease to exist. This would be a tragedy for children needing to be adopted.