Virginia Bill Bans Same-Sex Couples from Adopting
A bill that would enable state-funded private adoption agencies in Virginia to refuse placements on the basis of their religious or moral beliefs, including banning placements with same-sex couples passed the state House of Delegates by a vote of 71 to 28.
Leslie Cooper, an attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), stated, “It’s a license for child welfare agencies to make bad decisions based on their own religious beliefs rather than the child’s needs.”
Senator Mark Herring (D-Loudoun) criticized the bill on the grounds that the private agencies contract with the state government and thus as recipients of state funding, should not be permitted to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.
Senator Creigh Deeds (D-Charlottesville) added, “I will listen to the arguments and try to understand what the rationale behind it is…but I’m not include to support discrimination or use of tax dollars to support discrimination.” If the bill becomes law, Virginia would be the second state, following North Dakota, to allow private agencies to refuse placements on the basis sexual orientation.
The Bill was approved by the Virginia Senate on a 22-18 vote February 9, 2012. Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, a Republican, has pledged to add his signature to the measure.
Title: VA Bill Could Ban Same-Sex Couples from Adopting
Publication: Ms. Magazine
Date: February 8, 2012
Student Researcher: Bahareh Farhid, Sonoma State University
Faculty Evaluator: James Dean, Sonoma State University