Adoption for same-sex couples faces hurdles nationwide, but Virginia discriminated first
Two weeks ago, Florida’s Adoption-Promotion bill was passed, lifting a ban on prohibiting same sex couples from adopting. Good news, right?
Well, now conservative lawmakers are looking to amend the bill to allow private agencies to deny adoptions to same-sex couples based on religious believes.
This change is part of a conservative national trend toward “religious freedom” aimed at limiting the rights of LGBTQ’s – but laws dealing with gays and adoption are old hat here in the Commonwealth.
Virginia adopted their “conscience clause” for adoption agencies in 2012.
The “conscience clause” had been introduced by Senator Jeffrey McWaters (R-Virginia Beach), allowing adoption agencies to deny their services to same-sex couples if the couple’s life style disagrees with their religious views.
At the time, Virginia’s only openly gay Senator Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria), fought the bill, pointing out the state was giving $800 million a year to these private adoption and foster care placement agencies, but allowing faith-based discrimination.
“The issue is simple –whether or not state dollars should be used or taxpayers’ funds should be used to fund discrimination in adoption and foster care,” said Ebbin.
Last week, the Michigan House similarly passed bills which would allow faith-based adoption agencies that receive taxpayer dollars to refuse service to gays.
Faith-based adoption agencies in Michigan are currently receiving $10 million a year from tax-payers. And the question is, is it fair that people’s tax dollars are going towards what many would agree to be extremely discriminatory and unjust.
The trend continues further south. Last week, Alabama Senator Gerald Allen (R-Tuscaloosa) introduced a bill to allow state adoption agencies to deny gay couples based on religious grounds.
Not to be out done, Indiana Republicans are set to pass a Religious Freedom bill that would allow any business, including adoption agencies, to deny service to same-sex couples.
Embarrassingly, Virginia was one of the first states to start this “conscience clause” for adoption agencies, and it was signed wholheartedly by our now disgraced former-Governor McDonnell
Hopefully the bills for these states are denied and someday soon, Virginia’s as well.
The main issue is that most adoption agencies are run by churches and faith-based organizations which mean people’s tax-dollars fund these agencies.
It is not fair to the people to have their tax dollars go towards discriminatory organizations.
If a same-sex couple can marry, they should be able to adopt.
Is it morally sound for a couple, no matter what their orientation or family make up, to take in a child in need of parents and a good home?
“The district court’s decision is ripe for reversal and we are confident that, as this case moves ahead, it will be reversed.”December 19, 2016
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