The White House has spoken out against a bill advancing in Virginia’s legislature that would allow private adoption agencies to discriminate based on religious beliefs — specifically against same-sex couples. White House spokesperson Shin Inouye said the following on behalf of President Obama:
While the president does not weigh in on every single action taken by legislative bodies in our country, he has long believed that we must ensure adoption rights for all couples and individuals based on their interest in offering a loving home, not based on discriminatory and irrelevant factors. He recognizes that adoptive families come in many forms, and that we must do all we can to break down barriers to ensure that all qualified caregivers have the ability to serve as adoptive families.
The bill has already passed the Virginia House and will soon be heard by the Senate. The Williams Institute reported yesterday that the state could incur great costs for every young person that remains in the foster care system because of the discrimination the provision allows for.
Jeff Caldwell, a representative from Gov. Bob McDonnell’s (R) office, responded to the White House’s comments:
If/when it passes the General Assembly and reaches his desk, he will sign it. The governor has expressed his belief that faith-based adoption agencies should not be required to conduct adoption services that run counter to their religious beliefs, understanding that these organizations conduct a large portion of the state’s adoptions and could cease working to find homes for these children if they feel they cannot do it in accordance with their beliefs.