On Wednesday, the Department of Social Services voted 7-2 against policy changes that would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation in the adoption process.
In a joint statement from Equality Virginia and HRC, the organizations condemned the board for their decision.
“Today the State Board of Social Services told the 1,300 children already waiting for a loving, forever home that they’ll have to wait longer,” said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. “We will continue to fight for Virginia’s children. We call on the legislature to pass legislation that makes the best interest of the child the sole basis for adoption, not whether someone is gay or whether two caring adults are able to be married.”
The original proposal would have been changed standards to ”prohibit acts of discrimination based on race, color, gender, national origin, age, religion, political beliefs, sexual orientation, disability, or family status.” After the vote only race, national origin, and ethnicity are protected classes in the process.
“It is a sad day, indeed, when public servants charged with upholding the constitution and serving the best interests of Virginia’s children put those obligations aside because of political pressure or fear,” said James Parrish, Executive Director of Equality Virginia. “We need to change the law so that Virginia’s children in foster care and waiting for adoption are not denied the opportunity to have a loving home and two parents to care for them based on factors, such as the sexual orientation of the prospective parents, which have nothing to do with the children’s best interests. We will take action to assure that no GLBT person or couple with a loving home to offer a child is denied the right to parent simply because of who they are.”