EV & HRC Request Rejection of Commission Adoption Recommendation
Equality Virginia and the Human Rights Campaign today have requested the Virginia State Board of Social Services reject amendments proposed in a memo from the Commissioner of the Department of Social Services and previous advice from the Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. The organizations are asking the board to approve publication for the rules that would include a provision barring discrimination based on sexual orientation against prospective adoptive and foster parents.
From Press Release:
“The Governor was right when he said in his Executive Directive Number 1 that ‘[d]iscrimination based on factors such as one’s sexual orientation or parental status violates the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution,’” said James Parrish, Executive Director of Equality Virginia. “The Commissioner is wrong in recommending changes to the proposed adoption rules that are inconsistent with this principle.”
“We urge the State Board of Social Services to take action to approve the non-discrimination rule consistent with their obligation as state officials and public servants to protect all Virginia citizens from unconstitutional discrimination. No person who wants to become a parent should be forced to leave the state to do so, and no child should be denied a loving home because of such discrimination,” Parrish concluded.
“Virginia’s children deserve better than the politics the Governor and Commissioner are playing,” said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. “Now the State Board of Social Services has the chance to put children first. We ask members of the board to reject the Commissioner’s recommendations and eliminate discrimination in the adoption process. We also 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.”
Section 22VAC40-131-170 B. of the proposed new standards for licensed child placing agencies, which the Governor and the Attorney General would like to amend, says that such an agency licensed by the state shall “prohibit acts of discrimination based on race, color, gender, national origin, age, religion, political beliefs, sexual orientation, disability, or family status to: 1. Delay or deny a child’s placement; or 2. Deny an individual the opportunity to apply to become a foster or adoptive parent.”
Pictured: HRC President Joe Solmonese at last week’s Richmond press conference.
“In the face of these legislative attacks, pro-equality lawmakers stood with us to fight back.”December 20, 2016
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