Governor Bob McDonnell Considers Measure Allowing Gay Couples to Adopt Children in Virginia

Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell must decide shortly on a change in adoption regulations proposed by his predecessor Tim Kaine in 2009 that would allow gay and lesbian couples to adopt children in the state. Currently, married couples, and single men and women regardless of sexual orientation can adopt. 

The WaPo reports:


The proposal, according to the governor’s office, would mandate that gay singles and unmarried couples be able to access faith-based groups, such as Catholic Charities and Jewish Family Services, to adopt children.


McDonnell has less than two weeks to act on the regulations that would force state-licensed private and church-run agencies to allow unmarried couples — heterosexual or homosexual — to adopt children.

Conservatives, including Del. Robert G. Marshall (R-Prince William), are lobbying McDonnell to ask the State Board of Social Services to kill the proposal because they do not think it is healthy for gay couples to raise children.

Marshall said that he considers the change part of a “radical anti-family proposal” and that he does not even think single people should adopt, which is currently allowed by law. “Children need a mother and a father,” he said.

McDonnell's track record on LGBT issues is not promising.

You may recall that early last year following outrage over Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's advice that public universities should rescind their bylaws protecting gays and lesbians from discrimination, Governor Bob McDonnell issued an unenforceable "directive" saying the state should not discriminate based on sexual orientation.

McDonnell previously signed an executive order which explicitly removed language protecting gays and lesbians from discrimination from the state's anti-bias laws.


  1. Larry says

    While I have very little hope that Bob McDonnell will show any backbone with regard to equality, I would love to see this happen. My partner and I are very interested in having a child, and very few adoption services will place children in Virginia with a gay couple because of the anti-equality stance the state takes.

  2. Chriss says

    no way he’s allowing it. He is from the bottom of the Christian extremist barrel.

  3. Jack says

    I’m calling BS on the last sentence of your article, Andy. It is very, very difficult to believe that VA allows the governor, via executive order requiring no legislative vote, to change, modify, or rescind language in a properly and legally enacted law…

  4. JT says

    That’s how the state employee non-discrimination is handled in VA. The governor periodically signs an executive order (no idea how often…perhaps for the duration of their term?). When the new one took office he explicitly left out the language about gays that previous governors had put in their non-discrimination executive order.

    Realistically, yes…this probably should be handled legislatively and I have no idea who started the awful precedent of signing an executive order instead.

  5. Jack says


    Thanks for clearing it up, that’s interesting. Regardless, it is still not tantamount to Andy’s claim that he changed a law single-handedly, which sounds FAR more odious.

  6. sugarrhill says

    He kind of did, Jack, but whatever helps you sleep at night. You can google his executive order though.

  7. Matt says

    As a resident of the Commonwealth, if you remotely believe Ronald McDonnell is in favor of this, you are crazier than Charlie Sheen.