Agencies | Governor
Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
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9/19/11  10:26 am
Commenter: Mr. & Mrs. Thomas E. Carnell

Preserve Religious Freedom

We are writing to urge you to hold the line against the threats and bullying tactics of those who want to force faith-based adoption agencies to violate their conscience or else stop doing their good work of helping adoptive parents and children in Virginia.

In April the State Board of Social Services correctly upheld the fundamental right of faith-based child placement agencies to continue their great work of helping children and families without governmental intrusion into the practice of their faith.

Homosexuals already are entitled to adopt through non-faith-based agencies in Virginia, so amending the regulations to force this choice would not result in any more services to the community, and in actuality would most likely reduce the number of possible adoptions, to the detriment of all concerned. 

Faith-based child placement agencies DO have the right under federal and state law, to make decisions that are consistent with their religious beliefs, including their beliefs about marriage and family life. This right must be respected and preserved.  Many birthparents and prospective adoptive parents hold these beliefs as well, and they have every legal right to work with agencies that share their values.

Forcing agencies and individuals to choose between following their own values or following the proposed discriminatory regulation would be an unprecedented violation of religious freedom in Virginia. Religious liberty is foundational to our Commonwealth and our country.

Faith-based agencies provide vital services to our communities. They must be allowed to continue the great work they are doing without interference by a small but vocal minority who care more about advancing their "agenda" through threatened lawsuits than they care about helping their fellow citizens.


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