Taking a cue from the Catholic Church, religious conservatives have threatened to end adoption services in Virginia if a proposed policy that would prevent adoption agencies from discriminating based on sexual orientation is adopted. The National Organization for Marriage’s (NOM) Maggie Gallagher made a call for comments on Friday, announcing that the policy would require “mandatory gay adoption“:
Rep. Anthony Weiner may have joked about “mandatory gay marriage,” at the WH Correspondents dinner, but amazingly, Virginia’s Dept. of Social Services is proposing new regulations that would require all adoption and foster-care agencies to do gay adoptions.
NOM may claim that such policies drive agencies “out of business,” but the agencies would be completely free to continue helping place children in homes so long as they do not discriminate against same-sex couples. It has already been seven years since the American Psychological Association issued a policy statement supporting full adoption rights for same-sex parents, but many agencies continue to discriminate purely on religious grounds, claiming in spite of all available psychological evidence that it’s “not healthy” for same-sex couples to raise children. In his piece at Salon, Alex Pareene offers, “if you would rather stop placing children in homes than allow a loving same-sex couple to adopt than you are seriously a detestable person.”
It’s worth noting that the proposed policy would also prevent agencies like the Mormon Church’s LDS Family Services from discriminating based on the religion of the couples.
Governor Bob McDonnell (R-VA), who previously excluded sexual orientation from his executive order barring discrimination in the workforce, suggested he would oppose the new policy so that “we don’t inhibit the very fine work some faith-based organizations are doing.” He has until the end of next week to make his decision.