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Last Day For Comment On Virginia Gay Adoption Rules

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Virginia's social services board is reconsidering whether it should prohibit faith-based adoption agencies from discriminating against same-sex couples. Today is the last day the board is accepting public comment on the issue.

The proposed changes include anti-discrimination language that would force faith-based adoption agencies -- which have to be licensed by the state -- to provide equal consideration to same-sex couples looking to adopt. 

The social services board rejected the change in April, but after a public outcry, the board decided to give residents another chance to weigh in

Faith-based groups, such as Catholic Charities, say the changes would force them to choose between upholding their beliefs and providing services, and would be an egregious violation of religious liberty. 

Rob Keeling, a gay adoptive parent living in Richmond, disagrees.  "I don't think this is about their rights, or the rights of gays and lesbians," he says. "This is about the rights of children, to find a home with qualified and loving parent who is willing to open up their hearts and their homes to these children." 

Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has said the social services board lacks the authority to prohibit discrimination in adoptions based on sexual orientation.

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