Virginia: Victory for Adoption Agencies

Full Senate endorses bill protecting right of child-placing agencies to practice what they profess. 

Earlier this afternoon, the Senate approved a top Virginia Catholic Conference initiative by a 22-18 vote.  The legislation provides strong, explicit conscience protections for adoption and foster care agencies, so that those agencies are not forced to participate in placements that would violate their religious convictions.  Last Friday, an identical bill passed the House of Delegates by an overwhelming71-28 vote.

Conference Director Jeff Caruso provided comments on today’s critical Senate vote.  “Virginia’s Catholic bishops and their two dioceses, including the Catholic Charities agencies in both dioceses, are extremely grateful to all in the Senate and House who voted in favor of this essential conscience rights bill,” said Caruso.  “Today, the Senate affirmed religious liberty and the great work done by private adoption agencies, including those that have sincerely held religious and moral beliefs regarding marriage and the family.  I also wish to express particular gratitude to our patrons, Senator Jeffrey McWaters and Delegate Todd Gilbert, and to Governor McDonnell for his support of the legislation.”

The Conference looks forward to the full passage of the identical Senate and House bills and their arrival on the Governor’s desk.

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In prayer and in public, your voices are urgently needed to bring Gospel values to bear on vital decisions being made by those who represent you!