Thorne-Begland was the only one of more than three dozen judicial nominees — including 10 others from the Richmond region — who was not elected to a judgeship following a marathon legislative session dominated by review of amendments to the two-year state budget proposed by Gov. Bob McDonnell.
And how, you may wonder, is Mr. Thorne-Begland uniquely unqualified among nominees for a judgeship in Virginia?
A number of conservative House Republicans with military backgrounds questioned Thorne-Begland’s decision to speak publicly about his sexual orientation while he was in the military and subject to its code of conduct.
“For me it’s not not about fear and bigotry and ignorance and so forth,” said Del. L. Scott Lingamfelter, R-Prince William. “It is very definitely about duty.”
In an email blast to supporters late last week, the Christian conservative Family Foundation questioned Thorne-Begland’s fitness for the bench given his support for gay marriage, which is not legal in Virginia. Thorne-Begland and his partner, Michael, live together and are raising twins.
Marshall, too had charged that Thorne-Begland pursued an “aggressive activist homosexual agenda.”
“Duty” here is code for “don’t make us uncomfortable.”
We can’t have a new judge who spoke out against DADT at the expense of his military career and who now raises twins openly with his partner. If you’re gay and pursuing a legal/judicial career in Virginia, you’d best stay in the closet.
But his nomination came under fire late last week, as the Family Foundation and Del. Robert G. Marshall, R-Prince William, stoked fears that the 45-year-old attorney would allow his sexual orientation to influence his judicial decisions.
If you’re queer, and you might make judicial decisions that make life suck less for queer people, then according to Del. Marshall you are allowing your sexual orientation to influence your judicial decisions, and to him that is unacceptable. However, Del. Marshall doesn’t seem to consider that some might accuse him of allowing his bigotry to influence his legislative decisions, and in ways that would do a lot more damage than any “aggressive activist homosexual agenda.” Amanda Marcotte has more of his nonsense:
“Marriage is between one man and one woman, and the the applicant has represented himself in public in a relationship that we don’t recognize in Virginia,” Marshall said in an interview with WRIC, the ABC affiliate in Richmond.
Of course he’s just making shit up as he goes along. We don’t see him applying this “relationship propriety test” to people who are against marriage equality. I think he’s freaking out over the fact that support for civil marriage equality is shooting up like a rocket all over the country, and Tracy Thorne-Begland is a handy target for his anxiety.