Please do not pass this regulation that will inhibit freedom of faith-based groups from adaption services. I see this as another step of the government infringing on the rights of some (religious freedoms and agencies that hold religious beliefs) while advocating the rights of others (gay and activitist communities and persons). There are many adaption agencies that adapt from homosexual persons, it is not necessary to force every agency to do this. Faith based agencies form a core of our social serivces and should be free to continue to do the good work they do with out illegal government regulation on their practices.
As you know, on April 20, 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.
Under Federal and State law, Faith-based child placement agencies have a righ 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. It is the case that adaptive parents and birthparents hold these beliefs as well and should have access to agencies who feel similarly, not bbeing forced to go against their own values
Let me reitierate, 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.