Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell thinks it is okay for single gay and lesbian folks to be eligible to serve as adopting parents. But he draws the line at same-gender couples. They can’t adopt children who need loving homes.
He is not alone in this view, of course. But he is the governor, and he could make a difference. Why is he not doing so?
I do not doubt for a moment his care for the thousands of children seeking stable homes and loving parents.
But his logic? It stinks.
He does not seem to be hiding behind the so-called Marriage Amendment–which is really an anti-marriage amendment, because it forbids same gender couples to marry (or have any rights other than basic contract rights that all people have as a matter of Common Law).
Instead, he just says the current policy is right.
I think he knows the morally right way on this–and the best public policy, too–but he is afraid: political fall-out from his conservative constituency would be huge. Just saying it is okay for single lesbian or gay folks to adopt is a big no-no with many of his supporters.
But he’s not the only one who continues to hide. How does President Obama justify supporting civil unions but not marriage? His logic is no more clean than McDonnell’s even though they are at different points on the continuum of supporting same-gender equality. Obama fears more backlash, not so much from his constituency (although some from more conservative supporters) as from those who simply make a lot of noise on the topic.
Oh, for the days when politicians lead! I am waiting, and have been waiting for quite a while . . . .
Rev. Dr. Robin H. Gorsline is President of People of Faith for Equality in Virginia, an interfaith organization of gay and straight clergy and lay people working for equality for LGBT Virginians. Read more of his thoughts on faith and spirituality on his personal blog.