Virginia lawmakers are set to consider
opposing gay adoption bills, the AP
Democratic Senator Adam Ebbin is the
sponsor of a bill that would bar the state from funding adoption
agencies which discriminate against foster or adoptive parents based
on sexual orientation or gender identity.
“One major issue is whether charities
that receive tax dollars should be able to discriminate,” Ebbin
said. “Adoption is a public act that goes through state courts,
and no government agent should engage in discrimination.”
Ebbin: Virginia's first openly gay state senator.)
Ebbin's proposed measure would
reinstate protections removed last month by the Virginia Board of
Social Services. The board's new regulations, which strip out
protections against discrimination based on gender, age, religion,
disability, sexual orientation and family status, take effect May 1.
A competing bill, however, would
reinforce the board's move.
Senator Jeffrey McWaters and Delegate
Todd Gilbert's proposal would allow adoption agencies to discriminate
against prospective foster or adoptive parents who are gay, if doing
so is supported by the organization's religious beliefs.
“We just want to ensure that people
can continue to abide by their religious beliefs and continue to
provide services consistent with those beliefs,” said Gilbert, a
Republican from Woodstock.