Agencies | Governor
Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
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10/7/11  3:40 pm
Commenter: David Weintraub, Equality Loudoun

This is not a religious freedom issue

Having read through some of the other comments, it's clear that this has been misrepresented to many as an issue of "religious freedom," as if we're talking about a conflict between the right to practice religion and the right to be free of discrimination. This is false. 

The fact that many of those whose comments are entitled "Preserve religious freedom" don't understand is that adoption is not private. Adoption is a public act, always licensed and regulated by the state. 

We are not talking about the genuinely private religious practice that goes on in a church or other faith community. Regulating who can be a member, or who can be married to whom in a church would indeed be a violation of religious freedom. But we are not talking about private religious practice. We are talking about faith based organizations that have approached the state and asked to be licensed to act as public agents of the state. That is an entirely different matter. All organizations must follow the same rules if they want to be licensed to act as agents of the state, end of story. All organizations must be treated equally in this regard, and none afforded special rights. That is not "discrimination," it's making sure the best interests of children in the care of the state, and not the religious preferences of adults, are put first.


CommentID: 19692