I am writing in support of 22 VAC 40-131-170B as approved by the State Board of Social services on April 20, 2011. Curently, the provision states that "The licensee shall prohibit acts of discrimination based on race, color, or national origin to (1) Delay or deny a child's placement; or (2) Deny an individual the opportunity to become a foster or adoptive parent." This is in line with the federal law and avoids inconsistencies with state law.
That is why I am concerned that in the comment period, some have wanted to include other items such as sexual orientation, family status, religion and age. All of these are incompatible with the freedom of conscience rights of organizations who promote the viability of monogamous, heterosexual marriages, as well as those who promote the sanctity of marriage.
Virginia has always been a bastion of freedom of religion and conscience. And so including items into the regulation that would prevent faith-based organization from exercising their freedom of conscience goes against the core tenets of our government.
I support the State Board of Social Services April 20, 2011 vote to affirm the rights of faith-based adoption agencies.