The Virginia State Board of Social Services voted Wednesday to reject new adoption rules that would have allowed same-sex couples to adopt in the state for the first time.
The proposed regulations would have prohibited adoption agencies from discriminating against prospective parents because they’re gay.
In a 7-2 vote Wednesday afternoon, the board opted against the new rules, first proposed by former governor Tim Kaine. In Virginia, only married couples and single men and women, regardless of sexual orientation, can adopt. The proposed changes would require private and faith-based groups, such as Catholic Charities and Jewish Family Services, to allow gay parents to adopt or foster children.
Some members of the board, including Democratic appointees who make up the 5-4 majority, had told The Washington Post on Tuesday they would be guided by advice from Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II.
In a memo sent to the agency last week, Cuccinelli’s office said that the proposed changes did not comply with “applicable state law and public policy.”
In December 2009, then Attorney General Bill Mims, a former Republican legislator and now a state Supreme Court justice, advised that the state board had the authority to repeal the existing regulations.