Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Virginia House Panel Endorses Anti-Gay Adoption Discrimination

Dealing yet another blow to LGBT Virginians - and basically flipping all of us the middle finger - a Virginia House of Delegates panel has approved a "conscience clause" in adoption regulations that will allow Christian and other self-congratulatory religious bigots to openly discriminate against gays and others they don't like. Even as the receive state funds and act as de facto state agencies. So much for freedom of religion for all citizens in Virginia. Once again we see far right Christians given special rights not afforded to anyone else. If the legislation passes the General Assembly and is signed into law by Bob "Taliban Bob" McDonnell, one can only hope that a legal challenge is promptly filed in federal court. Here are highlights from the Washington Post on this latest Republican Party of Virginia effort to legalize religious based hate and bigotry and to denigrate and marginalize the lives of LGBT Virginians:

Private, faith-based adoption agencies would be allowed to deny placement of a child if doing so would violate their religious beliefs, including opposition to homosexuality, under legislation advanced by a House of Delegates on Tuesday.

The Health, Welfare and Institutions Committee voted 14-5 to send Del. Todd Gilbert’s “conscience clause” bill to the House floor. Gilbert, R-Woodstock, said his bill protects religious freedom.

Virginia has 120 local departments of social services, which administer adoption and foster care services. There are 77 state-licensed private child placement agencies that local departments can contract with to provide those services.

Along with allowing private agencies to deny placements based on religious tenets, the bill would bar the Department of Social Services from denying or revoking an agency’s license solely because it refused to place a child based on sexual orientation. It also would shield agencies from legal actions stemming from such decisions.

Have I mentioned how much I hate Virginia? Seriously, but for my relationship with the Boyfriend, I'd leave this theocratic backwater as soon as I could shut down the law firm and pack my belongings.

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