I write in support of 22 VAC 40-131-170B as approved by the State Board of Social Services on April 20.
Virginia has always been a bastion of freedom of religion and conscience. It is one of the bedrock and identifying principles of our Commonwealth. Including items into the adoption regulations that would force faith-based adoption agencies to defy their conscience and creeds would be a clear violation of these freedoms. These agencies’ deeply held convictions regarding the sanctity of marriage, the family, and human sexuality must be honored. It would be unjust, unwise, and reprehensible to tell faith-based agencies that they could no longer practice the very beliefs that undergird and animate their services.
For these reasons and others, I support the State Board of Social Services’ correct April 20 vote to affirm the rights of faith-based adoption agencies. I thank them for their vote in favor of freedom of conscience in Virginia and urge the Board to continue to affirm its decision.