- January 16, 2013
Post submitted by Eric Cameron, HRC Digital Media Specialist
Tracy Thorne-Begland has been confirmed as Virginia’s first openly gay jurist.
A well-qualified prosecutor and former Navy pilot, Thorne-Begland’s initial nomination for the Richmond General District Court was rejected last May after an anti-gay campaign by social conservatives.
Delegate Bob Marshall (R-Prince William) led the charge against Thorne-Begland, calling him“an aggressive activist for the pro-homosexual agenda.” He argued that Thorne-Begland’s support of marriage equality and past activism against “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” made him unfit to serve as a District judge, where he would hear traffic offenses and minor crimes.
In May, Thorne-Begland fell 18 votes short of a majority vote in the House, following a heated 13-hour special session. This time around, his nomination received a 66-28 vote in the House and easy confirmation in the Senate, earning support from 37 of the 68 House Republicans.
Congratulations to Judge Thorne-Begland on his trailblazing appointment.