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 Virginia-Pilot.

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 proposal; the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) called it “mandatory gay adoption.”