LGBT rights group Equality Virginia is pushing back against a state legislator's campaign to derail proposed nondiscrimination regulations regarding adoption, The Washington Post reports.
The State Board of Social Services is considering a proposal, put forth under former governor Tim Kaine, that would prevent state-licensed child placement agencies from discriminating against prospective adoptive or foster parents on the basis of sexual orientation as well as race, religion, gender, national origin, disability, family status, or political beliefs.
Bob Marshall (pictured), a member of the state house of delegates, wants Gov. Bob McDonnell to kill the measure, which Marshall calls a "radical antifamily proposal." He claims it would allow unmarried couples, gay and straight, to adopt or foster children, something Equality Virginia disputes.
The nondiscrimination provision "doesn't change the Commonwealth's current policy that allows any single person or married couple to adopt or foster a child in Virginia," Equality Virginia executive director James Parrish wrote in a letter sent Monday to Aradhana Sood, chair of the social services board. The new regulation, Parrish added, "does nothing more than ensure that a person who seeks to adopt or foster a child is not denied the opportunity to do so simply and solely because of who he or she is or what he or she believes."
Marshall has said he is also concerned that faith-based agencies would have to place children with gay parents, in violation of their religious beliefs. In his letter to Sood, Parrish contended that in placing children for adoption or foster care, these groups are acting as agents of the state, not engaging in private acts, as would be the case in employment decisions -- and therefore they should be subject to antidiscrimination law.
McDonnell has until April 16 to make a recommendation to the social services board. Read more here.