Virginia Will Allow Adoption Agencies to Turn Away Gay People

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The Virginia Senate passed a bill Tuesday that would allow adoption agencies to turn away parents based on their moral beliefs (read: sexual orientation), and the governor is expected to sign it into law. The legislature added a "conscience clause" to an adoption bill earlier this month, that The Washington Post reported "would allow state-funded, faith-based agencies to choose which parents are suitable for adoption based on the agencies' beliefs." Of course, Democratic legislators quickly pointed out that the bill was mostly aimed at agencies that don't want to allow gay people to adopt. (Gay couples can't adopt anyway, because Virginia doesn't recognize their marriage or allow adoption by non-married couples of any gender.) North Dakota is the only other state with a similar law. Opponents point out that the bill allows even non-religiously affiliated adoption agencies to discriminate against potential adopters based on sexual orientation. But supporters say that religiously affiliated adoption agencies need the protection lest they get shut down. Democrats tried to amend the legislation and introduce their own, but the Republican majority won out. 

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.