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Fri Apr 1, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS) has proposed new regulations to require state licensed adoption agencies in Virginia, including private church-run adoption agencies, to not refuse to process adoption of children based on the sexual orientation of the adopting parents.

The proposed new standards for licensed child-placing agencies, buried within a massive document, state under the heading Part IV, Program Statement, B: “The licensee shall prohibit acts of discrimination based on race, color, gender, national origin, age, religion, political beliefs, sexual orientation, disability, or family status to: 1. Delay or deny a child’s placement; or 2. Deny an individual the opportunity to apply to become a foster or adoptive parent.”

According to an action alert by CatholicVote.org, if these new regulations are adopted, even private, church-run agencies would be required to process adoption applications by homosexual couples.

In a letter to Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli sent to LifeSiteNews.com, Virginia Delegate Bob Marshall questioned the legal authority by which such regulations would be implemented.

Marshall pointed out that the state General Assembly has consistently rejected adding “sexual orientation” to the Commonwealth’s discrimination statutes. Therefore, he asked, “Can you tell me what authority the Department of Social Services allegedly has to add ‘sexual orientation’ to its conditions affecting the licensure of adoption agencies?”

The Virginia Department of Social Services is requesting comments from the public on this new proposal.

Comments may be made through the Virginia Regulatory Town Hall website here.

The comment period ends tonight at 11:59 PM.

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