Stephen D. Foster Jr.
Sat, 11 Feb 2012 16:26 CST
The war against the LGBT community is alive and well in the state of Virginia, and children are being caught in the crossfire. On Friday, the Virginia Senate passed SB 349, which gives private adoption agencies the power to deny the placement of children with same-sex couples on religious grounds.
Known as the 'conscience clause' bill, the bill allows adoption agencies to deny same-sex couples the opportunity to adopt children, even if they are well qualified to do so. The Senate passed the bill along partisan lines 22-18 and the House has already passed a version of the bill. Governor McDonnell is expected to sign the bill the second it hits his desk.
The bill is supposedly being passed to defend the religious freedom of faith based adoption agencies, of which there are over 80. Many of the agencies also happen to be state funded, which begs the question: How is it possible for government money to be used to violate the First Amendment? The answer, of course, is that it shouldn't be.
Democratic state Senator Adam Ebbin says, "This bill authorizes every one of the 80 private adoption agencies licensed in Virginia to refuse to offer their services to any LGBT person based on a written moral policy, which they can make up tomorrow. The bill says they can do that no matter how qualified the prospective mom and dad is to become a parent."
According to the Washington Blade
, "Ebbin and other opponents of the bill said that although it doesn't say so directly, they believe it is aimed mostly at allowing adoption agencies to turn away LGBT people as adoptive or foster parents. The bill doesn't change the state's existing adoption and foster placement law and policies that allow an agency to place a child with a gay parent if the agency wishes to do so. Existing law prohibits placement of children with an unmarried couple, gay or straight, but it does not bar single parent adoptions or foster placements for gays." But Ebbin thinks it could one day lead to a bill that directly bans same-sex couples from adopting.
The ones hurt the most by this bill are the children whose only wish is to have parents that love and care for them. By passing this bill, Virginia Republicans are essentially allowing adoption agencies to deny children a loving home because a couple doesn't meet their religious standards. So what if the couple are atheists, interracial or, heaven forbid, Muslim? There are still "good Christians" that would rather see a child languish in the system until they attain their majority than be placed with such "unholy" parents. No one should have the right to make that kind of call based on their own personal morals much less their religion.
Judge not lest ye be judged seems to be a foreign concept to the GOP and the ones that pay the price for their intolerance are the children. But what else is new?
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