Republicans Vote Against Adoption and Foster Care Equality

Today, as Republicans in the Virginia State Senate conservative placed their personal ideology ahead of the rights of Virginians, Virginia Democrats stood united to defend adoption equality. Republican senators voted to approve Senate Bill 349, which is designed to exclude gay and lesbian Virginians from the adoption and foster care process.

Senator Donald McEachin (D-Henrico) said, “Some conservative legislators just don’t get it: the only criteria that matters in adoption is the well-being of the child. State funds should not be used to discriminate against prospective parents and limit the choices of children.”

Senator Mark Herring (D-Loudon) said, “It has become clear that this bill does not seek to improve the adoption system. Instead, it is an attempt by Republicans to allow any adoption and foster care agency receiving state funds, not just faith-based ones, to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.”

“The state should never write a bank check for discrimination,” said Senator Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria). “Adoption and foster care agencies that receive state funding should not be allowed to pick and choose prospective parents based on their sexual orientation. Adoption is a public act that goes through state courts, and no government agent should ever engage in discrimination.”

SB 349 codifies and expands the ability of state funded charities to discriminate — to the detriment of gay and lesbian Virginians and children across the commonwealth. The legislation passed today will adversely affect thousands of children in Virginia. In 2011, over 5,000 children were in foster care, awaiting placement with a permanent home.

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