Voice vote rejects bill on adoption

“This thing comes awfully close to being pretty bigoted,” one senator said in opposition. The bill’s sponsor maintained that “homosexuals present certain risks as parents.”

The Roanoke Times
February 17, 2005
By Michael Sluss

RICHMOND – A Senate committee firmly rejected legislation Wednesday that would have required state adoption agencies to determine whether applicants are homosexual, yielding to concerns raised by opponents who derided the measure as discriminatory.

On an unrecorded voice vote, the Senate Courts of Justice Committee defeated a bill (HB 2921) that had sailed through the House of Delegates earlier this month. The bill’s sponsor, Del. Richard Black, R-Loudoun County, said adoption agencies must determine applicants’ sexual preferences to ensure that children get placed in “stable” environments. Black’s bill originally was intended to bar homosexuals from adopting children. But a House committee amended the bill to require adoption agencies to investigate whether an applicant “is known to engage in any voluntary homosexual activity or is unmarried and cohabitating with another adult to whom he is not related by blood or marriage.”

Black defended his stance during a lengthy hearing on his bill Wednesday afternoon.

“It’s my belief that homosexuals present certain risks as parents,” he told the committee. “Homosexual behavior leads to high rates of depression, substance abuse, suicide and family disintegration. Married heterosexual families provide a more stable home, proper gender identification and less social stigmatization.”

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