No same-sex parents allowed

Morgan White
Opinion Editor

Illustration by Shannon Wright

Being heterosexual does not ensure anyone’s ability to take on parental responsibilities, and being a member of the LGBT community does not mean you will be a bad parent.

Our state legislature believes that children without homes are better off than children raised by same-sex couples. The lifting of the same-sex marriage ban does not negate the conscience clause added to state adoption laws in 2012. The clause allows private adoption agencies to refuse adoptions for religious reasons.

If you’re gay and the agency’s interpretation of the religious text they follow is that homosexuality is not accepted then the agency can refuse to allow you to adopt.

To add clauses to adoption laws which support this mode of thinking only shows the homophobic nature of our legislature. Sure, the wave of progressive thinking reached Virginia in October when same-sex marriage was approved, but if discriminating against someone because of their sexual orientation is legal in the private realm then what does the approval of marriage mean? Is it merely something the General Assembly passed to fend off LGBT surporters while they continue to support private discrimination?

A major component of why this conscience clause was added to adoption laws was to ensure the freedom of religion for biological parents who have decided to give their child up for adoption. Giving their child to a private agency which adheres to certain religious beliefs would ensure the biological parents that their child would not go to a same-sex couple. The biological parents must believe that if their child is raised by a same-sex couple then the child will end up becoming homosexual. This clause has nothing to do with religious freedom — it has everything to do with state-sponsored discrimination.

Having that clause in place shows the children in foster care that having a home isn’t as important as having a family that will love them unless they’re gay. It shows the orphans that it’s the straight parents who will be able to assimilate them better to fit the frame of what it means to be suited for our society. Adoption shouldn’t hinge on the adoptive parents’ race or sexual orientation. As a community it should be our goal to fit the children who need homes with the people who will love them no matter the circumstance.

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