(CNS News) – A bill introduced in the Virginia House would repeal a provision that allows certain state adoption agencies to refuse to place children with homosexual couples because of the agencies’ religious or moral convictions.
The bill, HB 1932, was introduced by House Del. Mark H. Levine (D) and several other Assembly members on Jan. 13.
“This bill would repeal a law the Virginia Catholic Conference helped create in 2012 to protect the religious freedom of adoption and foster care agencies,” said Jeffrey Caruso, executive director of the Virginia Catholic Conference.
“Current law simply ensures that no agencies—including faith-based agencies that follow the teaching that marriage is between a man and a woman—are forced to participate in placements that violate their beliefs and moral convictions,” he said. “We must keep this law in place and stop the bill that has been proposed to repeal it.”
“Currently, no one who wants to adopt or provide a foster home is prohibited from doing so,” said Caruso. “Preventing families from doing so through a faith-based organization that shares their beliefs would mean less foster and adoptive parents, not more.”
The bill reads, “Repeals provisions that allowed child-placing agencies to refuse to perform, assist with, counsel, recommend, consent to, refer, or participate in any child placements when the proposed placement would violate the agency’s written or moral convictions or policies.”
According to the pro-LGBTQ Movement Advancement Project, Virginia is one of 11 states that allows adoption agencies to deny the placement of children with families or same-sex couples that conflict with their religious beliefs.
It is legal for single LGBT persons and gay couples to adopt in Virginia, and numerous adoptions agencies provide the service.
Del. Mark H. Levine (D), who introduced the repeal bill, is an open homosexual in the Virginia Assembly. His legislation currently is under review in the House Social Services Subcommittee.
Commenting on the bill, Kansas Catholic Conference Director Michael Schuttloffel told LifeSiteNews, “This is a matter of activist groups who don’t like certain religious beliefs and they want to use the power of the government to crush people that operate according to those religious beliefs.”