Virginia AG Wants To Back Out Of Allowing Gay Adoption

While he anxiously awaits word whether his challenge to the Affordable Care Act will be accepted by the Supreme Court, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is keeping himself busy by backing out of progressive reforms initiated by the previous administration.  Cuccinelli’s office said in a memo dated Tuesday that proposed rules that would require private and faith-based groups, such as Catholic Charities and Jewish Family Services, to allow gay parents to adopt children “does not comport with applicable state law and public policy.”

The Washington Post reports that “In December 2009, the attorney general’s office, then headed by Bill Mims, a former Republican legislator and now a Supreme Court justice, advised that the state board had the authority to repeal the existing regulation and put into place the new one. Cuccinelli’s office is now revising and amending that advice.”

The interesting thing in this change of course is the complete lack of non-discriminatory justification for the policy the Cucinelli advocates.  Under current Virginia law, married couples and single men and women, regardless of sexual orientation, can adopt children.  The new proposed rule would require religious agencies facilitating adoptions to abide by basic anti-discrimination provisions in the placement of children, including allowing adoption to unmarried same-sex partners.   The conclusion that the current rules are preferable to the proposed rules would require the assumption that when deciding the best placement for a child, a single straight parent will provide a better upbringing than a stable same-sex couple.  It seems to me that the best interests of the people of Virginia, particularly the children of Virginia, are served by allowing the greatest number of families access to adopt children, regardless of sexual orientation.

Photo Credit: Associated Press via CBSNews.com

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Noah Kaplan is the Senior Executive Editor for Online Content. He is a 3L at Harvard Law School focusing on constitutional law and criminal procedure. He has interned at the Boston United States Attorney's Office and the Colorado Attorney's General's Office. Before law school, Noah taught 4th grade as a Teach for America corps member in Phoenix, Arizona.

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