Virginia Attorney General Ken
Cuccinelli has advised a state panel against approving a proposed
gay-inclusive adoption policy, The Washington Post reported.
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.
But Cuccinelli's office told the
9-member State Board of Social Services in a memo dated Tuesday that
approving such a policy would be illegal.
The proposal “does not comport with
applicable state law and public policy,” wrote Allen Wilson, senior
assistant attorney general. “Therefore the State Board lacks the
authority to adopt this proposed language.”
Governor Bob McDonnell last week stated
his opposition to the change. “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
Social conservatives had lobbied
McDonnell to make a public statement.
In an appearance last week 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.