Democratic U.S. Senate hopeful and former Virginia governor Tim Kaine (pictured) this week refused to say whether he supports allowing gay couples to adopt children, something that has become an issue as Virginia considers new regulations governing adoption, The Washington Post reports.
A nondiscrimination policy proposed when Kaine, who left office in 2010, was governor, would prevent state-licensed agencies from discriminating against prospective adoptive and foster parents on the basis of sexual orientation, family status, and other characteristics. Some state legislators say the policy, which is up for approval by the State Board of Social Services, would require agencies, including faith-based ones, to place children with gay couples or unmarried straight couples -- an interpretation Kaine disagrees with.
Noting that current law allows only individuals, including gay people, or married couples to adopt, Kaine told reporters at this week's press conference, "They did not promise to change the issue about couple or single person adoption because that's statutory. You can't do it by regulation. It didn't change the issue of couples versus individuals."
In 2005, while running for governor, Kaine said he opposed letting gay or unmarried couples adopt, but in the press conference he refused to say whether that is still his position. He did say, "I will state unequivocally I do not believe that agencies that work in adoption should discriminate on the grounds of sexual orientation or any other grounds other than the best interest of the child. That should the be the criteria."
Some conservative Virginia legislators want current governor Bob McDonnell, a Republican, to kill the proposed nondiscrimination policy. McDonnell has until April 16 to weigh in on it.
Kaine resigned Tuesday as chairman of the Democratic National Committee in order to run for the U.S. Senate seat now held by fellow Democrat Jim Webb, who is not seeking reelection in 2012.