NOTEWORTHY APPOINTMENTS & ASSIGNMENTS Jan 16, 2013 14:26:51 GMT -5
Post by bluepride on Jan 16, 2013 14:26:51 GMT -5
Va. House of Delegates confirms gay judge
The Virginia House of Delegates on Tuesday voted 66-28 to approve gay interim Richmond Circuit Court Judge Tracy Thorne-Begland’s judgeship.
“Equality Virginia is pleased that the House of Delegates could see that Thorne-Begland is a qualified candidate with integrity and a long history of public service,” Equality Virginia Executive Director James Parrish said in a statement. “Thorne-Begland has served his country and his city with honor and unquestioned competence first as a Navy pilot and then as a prosecutor.”
The vote took place after members of the General Assembly Committee of Judicial Appointments on Monday certified Thorne-Begland and more than 40 other judicial nominees.
The House of Delegates last May blocked Thorne-Begland’s nomination to the Richmond General Court after state Del. Bob Marshall (R-Prince William County) alleged he misrepresented himself when he failed to disclose his sexual orientation when he enlisted in the U.S. Navy in the late 1980s. (He is among the 28 delegates who voted against Thorne-Begland’s election.)
Thorne-Begland, who came out during 1992 “Nightline” interview in which he criticized the Pentagon’s ban on gay servicemembers, received an honorable discharge two years later.
The Richmond General Court in June appointed Thorne-Begland on an interim basis because lawmakers failed to fill the vacancy, but state Del. Todd Gilbert (R-Shenandoah) questioned his previous activism during the General Assembly Committee of Judicial Appointments hearing.
“There was a lot of confusion last year about how your oath and your activism were both present or not present or either or how one tread upon the other—or didn’t,” Gilbert said. “That’s one of the reasons I didn’t vote in your previous election because those questions were not answered for me and I feel like they’ve been satisfactorily answered for me.”
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