Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell has said he opposes a proposed gay-inclusive adoption policy.

Currently, the state only allows married couples and single folks – regardless of sexual orientation – to adopt a child. Gay and lesbian couples are excluded because gay marriage is illegal in the state. The Virginia Department of Social Services is considering altering the policy to prohibit private adoption agencies from discrimination based on sexual orientation, disability or family status.

“We want to have all of our adoption agencies, particularly those that are faith-based agencies …. to be free to do the great work they're doing without having additional government mandates or requirements,” McDonnell told the Virginia-Pilot.

The changes were proposed by former Democratic Governor Timothy M. Kaine in November 2009, less than two months before he left the office.

Social conservatives are lobbying for McDonnell to ask the 9-member State Board of Social Services to abandon the proposal. The National Organization for Marriage (NOM), the nation's most vociferous opponent of gay marriage, called the proposal “mandatory gay adoption.”

In an appearance Tuesday on DC's Fox affiliate, Delegate Robert G. Marshall, a Republican from Prince William, said he opposed gay and lesbian couples raising children because the behavior of the parents is “an example to children, it should be a good behavior” and added that the behavior is “a violation of a 6,000 year old moral code.”

Ellen Kahn, family project director with the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest gay rights advocate, chided Marshall for his disapproval.

“Who you love is not a problem in terms of providing a good, stable, loving family to children and 30 years of social science research backs that up. You may not like the idea of children being raised by families other than a married mother and father but there is no evidence, there's no real basis for that other than you don't like it. Children do fine in a family where they have one or two parents who love them, who nurture them, who support them. And if you want to look a child in the eye who has been in group homes for three years or 10 foster families and say sorry you have to wait another year because we're waiting for a perfect married couple to come along, well then shame on you, because these children need a family.”

Reacting to Congress' decision to repeal “Don't Ask, Don't Tell,” Marshall proposed a bill that would ban gay troops from serving openly in Virginia's National Guard.