A Virginia board late on Wednesday
decided against a proposed gay-inclusive adoption policy.
The State Board of Social Services
voted 7 to 2 in favor of keeping its current policy that only allows
married couples and single folks – regardless of sexual orientation
– to adopt a child. Gay and lesbian couples are excluded because
they are unable to marry in the state. The new policy would have
prohibited private adoption agencies from discrimination based on
sexual orientation, disability or family status.
“Today the State Board of Social
Services told the 1,300 children already waiting for a loving,
forever home that they'll have to wait longer,” said Joe Solmonese
of the gay rights group Human Rights Campaign (HRC). “We will
continue to fight for Virginia's children. We call on the
legislature to pass legislation that makes the best interest of the
child the sole basis for adoption, not whether someone is gay or
whether two caring adults are able to be married.”
The changes were proposed by former
Democratic Governor Timothy M. Kaine in November 2009, less than two
months before he left the office.
Governor Bob McDonnell has said he
opposes the changes.
“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
In a full-page ad in last week's
Richmond Times-Dispatch, HRC had urged McDonnell to reverse
course and support the changes.
Social conservatives decried the
National Organization for Marriage (NOM) called it “mandatory gay