Agencies | Governor
Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
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10/11/11  11:12 pm
Commenter: Fran Waddell

Preserve Religious Freedom

The State Board of Social Services should keep the revised regulations adopted on April 20.  These regulations correctly allow faith-based child-placement agencies to continue their good work of placing children in loving homes while still being faithful to their religious beliefs. 

Article 1 of the Bill of Rights states “...Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, OR PROHIBITING THE FREE EXERCISE THEREOF”.   To require that individuals and agencies act contrary to their religious beliefs IS a prohibition of their constitutionally guaranteed free exercise of their religion!  The proposed “exemption” is so narrowly written that it will not apply to most faith-based organizations.

Faith-based agencies provide vital services to our communities. They must be allowed to continue the great work they are doing.  Many birthparents and prospective adoptive parents hold these beliefs as well, and they have every right to work with agencies that share their values.

Allowing faith-based agencies to continue their good work in harmony with their deeply held religious beliefs in no way prevents other agencies from offering services "without regard to 'sexual orientation' and 'family status'."

Please act to preserve the religious freedom guaranteed in the Bill of Rights.

CommentID: 20960