More special, unconstitutional, protections of religious
conscience bigotry, to the exclusion of equal protection:
On Friday, the Virginia Senate passed SB 349, which gives private adoption agencies the power to deny the placement of children with same-sex couples on religious grounds.
Known as the ‘conscience clause’ bill, the bill allows adoption agencies to deny same-sex couples the opportunity to adopt children, even if they are well qualified to do so. The Senate passed the bill along partisan lines 22-18 and the House has already passed a version of the bill. Governor McDonnell is expected to sign the bill the second it hits his desk.
Democratic state Senator Adam Ebbin says, “This bill authorizes every one of the 80 private adoption agencies licensed in Virginia to refuse to offer their services to any LGBT person based on a written moral policy, which they can make up tomorrow. The bill says they can do that no matter how qualified the prospective mom and dad is to become a parent.”
Ebbin thinks this is a first stage in the state prohibiting gay adoptions outright:
“One of the most important reasons not to pass this bill is I’m sure that next year or soon thereafter we’ll be addressing a bill that seeks to directly do what this bill does do indirectly – and that is to achieve the ultimate goal to ban foster care and adoption by GLBT people completely,” Ebbins told his Senate colleagues.