By Anita Kumar, Published: February 7
RICHMOND — Virginia will likely become the second state in the nation — after North Dakota — to allow private adoption agencies to turn away parents based on sexual orientation or religious and moral beliefs.
The General Assembly is considering a measure that would add a “conscience clause’’ to Virginia law that would allow state-funded, faith-based agencies to choose which parents are suitable for adoption based on the agencies’ beliefs.
Daniel Gri and James Abbott, who adopted two sons in California, say that through the proposed guidelines their adopted home of Virginia is further hampering gay people from adopting.
“It makes it seem like it’s not about sexual orientation,” said Gri, who lives in Oakton. “That’s a technique anti-gay organizations use.’’
But supporters of the legislation say it would protect religious freedom by allowing birth parents to choose an agency — and as a result, adoptive parents — who adhere to their religious beliefs.
“This measure will chisel into law the principle that people of faith can adhere to their convictions without fear of reprisal from those who would discriminate against their religious beliefs regarding how we should raise our children,” said House Deputy Majority Leader C. Todd Gilbert(R-Shenandoah)….Continue Reading
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