The Virginia Senate on Thursday
approved a bill which would limit gay and lesbian people from
adopting children, the Richmond
Times Dispatch reported.
The measure would allow private
adoption agencies to reject gay applicants if it conflicts with their
religious or moral beliefs.
The Senate backed the measure with a
22-18 vote. Two Democrats, Senators Charles J. Colgan and Phillip P.
Puckett, helped all 20 Republicans get the measure through the
The bill is sponsored in the Senate by
Senator Jeffrey McWaters, a Republican from Virginia Beach, and in
the House by Delegate Todd Gilbert, a Republican from Woodstock.
House members earlier overwhelmingly
approved Gilbert's version. Republican Governor Bob McDonnell has
said he support the legislation. The bills must be reconciled before
heading to McDonnell's desk for his signature.
Speaking on the Senate floor,
Democratic Senator Adam P. Ebbin, the chamber's first openly gay
member, called the measure “morally wrong.”
Virginia also only allows married
couples to jointly adopt a child, which disproportionately affects
gay and lesbian couples because they are unable to legally marry in
Lawmakers acted after the Virginia
Board of Social Services reversed anti-discrimination rules based on
personal factors, including sexual orientation. Those rules take
effect May 1.