Virginia Attorney General Ken Cucinelli has announced that he will block a proposed regulation banning religious discrimination against adoptive gay parents.
Cuccinelli’s office said in a memo dated Tuesday that the proposal to be considered by the State Board of Social Services as early as next week “does not comport with applicable state law and public policy.” “Therefore the State Board lacks the authority to adopt this proposed language,’’ wrote Allen Wilson, senior assistant attorney general. Cuccinelli’s position reverses one of his predecessor, William C. Mims, a former Republican legislator and now a Virginia Supreme Court justice. Currently, only married couples and single men and women — regardless of sexual orientation — can adopt in Virginia. Proposed changes would require private and faith-based groups, such as Catholic Charities or Jewish Family Services, to allow gay parents to adopt or foster children. But there’s disagreement between lawmakers and activists about whether the proposed regulations would allow other classes, including unmarried couples — heterosexual or homosexual — to adopt.
Anti-gay Virginia Del. Bob Marshall celebrates: “It was a correct decision in my judgment. The General Assembly has not made sexual orientation a protected class. This will be welcome news to a lot of faith-based adoption agencies.”