General Assembly to Vote Monday
Legislator Cites Nominee’s Long History as ‘Aggressive Activist for Pro-Homosexual Agenda’
MANASSAS, May 12 – Delegate Bob Marshall said today that he will seek to remove the name of a homosexual activist from a list of proposed District Court judicial appointments if the name remains on the list when it comes to a vote Monday in the Virginia General Assembly.
The judgeship nominee is Tracy Thorne-Begland, a Richmond attorney identified by Marshall (R., Manassas) as “an aggressive activist for the pro-homosexual agenda.”
“After more than a week of pleading by some Republican Caucus members,” Marshall said, “the House Republican leadership has so far declined to removed Mr. Thorne-Begland’s name from the block of nominees,” Marshall said. “If this situation remains unchanged, I will offer an amendment to remove his name.”
Marshall questioned whether Thorne-Begland can swear to the oath required of Virginia’s judges in which they pledge to abide by the state’s constitution “if he has already indicated by his past public actions that he does not support its provision ‘that only a union between one man and one woman may be a marriage valid in or recognized by this Commonwealth and its political subdivision.’”
Thorne-Begland lives with a ‘partner” with whom he has a formalized homosexual union, Marshall said, and they have two adopted children. Thorne-Begland has been active in the national homosexual advocacy group, Human Rights Campaign, and with Equality Virginia, of which he is a former board member.
Marshall pointed out that Thorne-Begland was serving as a Navy aviation lieutenant in 1992 when he went on national television to disclose his homosexuality, then was discharged under the “don’t ask, don’t tell” military regulation on homosexuality then in force. Thorne-Begland sued the Defense Department, alleging that his right to free speech had been restricted, but he lost the case on appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit in Richmond.
“Mr. Throne-Begland joined the Navy under clear rules on homosexuality that he challenged when he sued the Department of Defense to change DADT,” Marshall said.
“Would Mr. Thorne-Begland also challenge rules that apply to Virginia courts? Can this candidate swear the required oath to support our state’ constitution if he has already indicated by his past actions that he does not support that section of our constitution barring same-sex legal relationships?
“While our judges and judicial candidates certainly have a right to free speech, they do not have the right to disregard the Virginia constitution”
Delegate Bob Marshall’s contact information:
Mobile telephone – (703) 853-4213
Capitol telephone – (804) 698-1013 (during General Assembly sessions)