VIRGINIA: State Board Allows Adoption Agencies To Discriminate Against Gays

The Virginia Board of Social Services has voted 5-1 to allow adoption agencies to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation and political beliefs.

Board chairwoman Bela Sood noted before the decision that while society considers a mother and a father “a normal parenting unit,” scientific evidence doesn’t support some religious and conservative groups’ claims that they make better parents than same-sex couples do. “There are discussions and arguments that can be made on both sides,” she said before casting the lone dissenting vote. Virginia allows married couples and single people to adopt or become foster parents, but bars unmarried couples from doing so. Then-Gov. Timothy Kaine’s Democratic administration added the anti-discrimination provision in 2009, but it didn’t become a flashpoint for public debate until this year, when conservative legislators and groups complained.

The ruling comes at the prodding of Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, a virulently anti-gay Christianist. Cuccinelli has refused to follow tradition and resign after declaring his plan to run for governor in 2012. Therefore all his legal actions (such as this one) can be seen in the light of how they will affect his campaign.