On April 20, the State Board of Social Services rightly upheld the fundamental right of faith=based agencies to continue their great work without goveernmental intrusion into the practice of their faith. 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.
Many birthparents and prospective adoptive parents hold these beliefs as well, and they have every right to work with agancies that share their values. Forcing agancies 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. Faith-based agencies provide vital services to our communties. They must be allowed to continue the great work they are doing. Please continue to uphold the religious freedom of faith-based agencies as the Board rightly decided last April 20. Thank you for your consideration.