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Friday, April 15, 2011

VA Attorney General Cuccinelli: Adoption regulations backed by gay rights groups should be nixed

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) has weighed in against 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.
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 to the Virginia Department of Social Services.
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.
Currently, only married couples and single men and women — regardless of sexual orientation — can adopt in Virginia.
The proposal would mandate that gay singles and unmarried couples be able to access faith-based groups to adopt children.
Former Democratic governor Tim Kaine, who is running for U.S. Senate in 2012, proposed the change to the regulations in November 2009, less than two months before he left the office to become chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) will make a recommendation on the rules to the State Board of Social Services, a nine-member panel. All but four members are holdovers from Kaine’s administration.
McDonnell has repeatedly said that he opposes the regulations because faith-based organizations should be able to make their own policies.
“I know I had said during the campaign that I would essentially keep our adoption laws -- which I think are good -- the way they are now,’’ McDonnell said. “I think the current regulations that are in place seem to be working well.”



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