But that’s a lie.
Thorne-Begland, a Deputy Commonwealth Attorney for the city of Richmond, was voted down by a 33-to-31 majority of the Virginia House because he is a gay activist.
The chamber’s conservative Republicans expressed concern that the nominee for a seat on the General District Court in Richmond would transmogrify into a judicial activist.
And they almost certainly were correct.
They need look no further than California where Proposition 8, a voter-approved amendment to the state’s constitution that prohibited same-sex marriage in the Golden State, was struck down by federal Judge Vaughn Walker.
Walker retired after his ruling. He subsequently disclosed that he was gay and that he and his same-sex partner had been together for quite some time.
The gay jurist had an obvious conflict of interest, as his ruling made it possible for him and his manfriend to marry. Yet he did not have the ethics, the integrity, to recuse himself from the case.
Is there any reason to believe that Thorne-Begland would have been a less activist judge than Walker, who kept his homosexuality on the down low until the Prop. 8 case fell into his lap?
I think not.
Indeed, Thorne-Begland came out of the closet nearly 20 years ago when he brazenly challenged the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. The Navy was kind enough to give the former fighter pilot an honorable discharge.
The Virginia barrister could have been discreet about his sexual orientation, quietly raising the twins he adopted with his same-sex partner.
But Thorne-Begland decided to be a homosexual activist, working with the Human Rights Project, as a spokesman for their “Coming Out Project,” and serving six years on the board of Equality Virginia, a group promoting gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender causes.
Thorne-Begland tried to put to rest fears of conservative lawmakers in the commonwealth’s House of Delegates that he would take his homosexual activism to the General District Court.
“My decisions will be guided by, and be faithful to, the constitutions, the laws, and the case authority of the commonwealth and theUnited States,” he wrote, in a letter toDel. David Albo, Chairman of the House of Delegates’ Courts of Justice Committee.
Of course, Vaughn Walker offered similar assurances when he was under consideration for the federal district court seat he occupied at the time he issued his highly controversial ruling declaring that same-sex couples have constitutional right to marry.
By denying Thorne-Begland a judgeship,Virginia’s House of Delegates has ensured that the gay activist won’t get an opportunity to follow Walker’s example.