I respectfully urge the Department of Social Services of the State of Virginia to uphold the 7 to 2 decision by its Board made on April 20 protecting the right of private child placing agencies that are faith based to remain faithful to their missions and values.
Sadly, those who oppose the April 20 decision on the grounds that they don't want to discriminate are doing just that. They are discriminating against 1.)faith based agencies, 2.)birth parents who come to them because they want their child to have the opportunity to be raised in a home where religious faith is practiced and 3.)the adoptive parents who come to these agencies with the same desire and commitment.
It should be noted that currently in Virginia single homosexuals can adopt through public and some private agencies!
Faith-based agencies have a 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. Birth parents and adoptive parents have the same rights that they wish to exercise In the Interests of the Child.
Forcing agencies and individuals to choose between abiding by their own conscience or following the law would be an unprecedented violation of religious freedom in Virginia.
Religious Freedom is foundational to the State of Virginia and to our nation.
Finally, faith based agencies provide vital services to our communities. They must be permitted to continue this Very important work.
Please remain faithful to the original decision made on April 20.