On Monday the US Supreme Court announced that it was not going to consider appeals from lawmakers in several states who wished to uphold same-sex marriage bans.
One of the States affected by this decision was Virginia.
On the day following the Supreme Court’s decision, Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe issued an executive order directing state agencies to comply with the decision, paving the way for same-sex marriages to commence.
Now, McAuliffe has gone further, and yesterday extended adoption rights to married same-sex couples.
‘Now that same-sex marriage in Virginia is officially legal, we owe it to all Virginians to ensure that every couple is treated equally under all of our laws, no matter whom they love,’ the Democratic governor said in a statement.
‘This historic decision opened the door to marriage equality, and now it is my sincerest hope that it will also open more doors for Virginia children who need loving families.
‘By formally recognizing that same-sex couples can now legally adopt, we are more fully complying with the ruling in this important case, and sending the message once again that Virginia is open and welcoming to everyone.’
Currently, Virginia law states that ‘a married couple or an unmarried individual shall be eligible to receive placement of a child for purposes of adoption.’ Allowing same-sex married couples to adopt will enable married gay couples to step-adopt one another’s children.
McAuliffe has been vocal in his support of same-sex marriage. On Monday, after the Supreme Court announced its ruling, he Tweeted, ‘Equality for all men & women regardless of their race, color, creed or sexual orientation is intrinsic to the values that make us Virginians.’
On Friday, he became the first Virginian governor to preside over a same-sex wedding when he officiated the wedding of lesbian couple, Renee Bradley and Katherine Bradley-Black of Northern Virginia. He later Tweeted (below) that he had felt honored to be part of the ‘important occasion’.
I was honored to be part of this important event and am pleased that marriage equality has been extended to all in VA pic.twitter.com/rgaHToj9Yj
— Terry McAuliffe (@GovernorVA) October 10, 2014