In a full-page ad in Thursday's Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) urges Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell to support 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.

McDonnell has already said he does not support the proposed changes, but has until April 16 to officially file his position.

“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.

“Governor McDonnell: Do the right thing for Virginia's children,” the ad's headline says. “Governor McDonnell, don't put politics ahead of ensuring that all children have a chance at finding a loving, forever family.”

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.”