I have read many of the posted comments here and believe the following:
Whether or not gay and lesbian couples can offer loving homes to children is not the issue.
The issue debated here is one of revoking or preserving religious freedom.
Faith-based agencies place many of the children in our Commonwealth in adoptive and foster families. Forcing them to choose to cease operation of these services by mandating a violation of their religious convicitions will result in the loss of a wonderful service to children and families (as in Mass. and D.C.)
The real losers will be the children who would otherwise be placed by the foster care and apoltive services of these agencies.
Faith-based agencies have a right, under federal and state law,to make decisions that are consistent with their religious beliefs about marriage and family life. This right must be respected and preserved.
Many birthparents and prospective adoptive parents hold these beliefs as well, and they have every right to work with agencies that share their values.
Forcing agencies and individuals to choose between following their own values or following the law would be an unprecedented violation of religious freedom in Virginia. Religious liberty is foundational to our Commonwealth and our country.
Please unphold the April 20th decision which correctly upheld the fundamental right of faith-based agencies to continue to provide the vital services they provide to our community without governmental intrusion into the practice of their faith.