UPDATE 5/15/12 -- 10:57 a.m.: The GOP-controlled Virginia House of Delegates defeated the nomination of Tracy Thorne-Begland, Richmond's chief deputy commonwealth's attorney, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports. He would have been the first openly gay judge elected in Virginia.
Virginia state Del. Bob Marshall (R) has launched an effort to block an openly gay judge from being considered for a post on a general district court.
Marshall said he believes that Tracy Thorne-Begland, a Richmond-based prosecutor who lives with his partner and two adopted children, should be removed from the list of potential appointees. Thorne-Begland's sexual orientation would conflict with his ability to hold up the state's constitution, Marshall said.
"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.
The GOP lawmaker said that Thorne-Begland is "an aggressive activist for the pro-homosexual agenda."
Thorne-Begland has spoken out on gay rights in the past, particularly after his discharge from the Navy in the early-'90s under the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy, which until last year prevented openly gay men and women from serving in the military. He has said he would refrain from political activity if appointed to the district court.
"In those cases where my impartiality could reasonably be questioned, I will, as any judge in my position would, recuse myself," Thorne-Begland wrote in a letter to the state Courts of Justice Committee.
Marshall, currently running for U.S. Senate in the state's Republican primary against likely nominee George Allen, has made headlines in the past for his controversial views.
Last year, he opposed the Richmond Federal Reserve Bank's decision to fly a rainbow flag outside its building as a symbol of workplace equality, stating that the homosexual behavior "celebrated" by the flag "undermines the American economy." He has also called homosexuality a "disordered behavior."
Marshall was also the force behind Virginia's "fetal personhood" bill, which was mocked on "Saturday Night Live". The measure, defeated by the Virginia state senate, would have given fertilized eggs legal rights, and required women seeking abortions to first undergo a trans-vaginal ultrasound.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article stated that Marshall wrote the letter to the state Courts of Justice Committee.
CORRECTION: We have corrected the photo caption to reflect that the photo with this story is an image of Tracy Thorne-Begland.
Below, more outrageous things said about sexuality and the LGBT community:
BEFORE YOU GO
How to vote
Vote-by-mail ballot request deadline: Varies by state
For the Nov 3 election: States are making it easier for citizens to vote absentee by mail this year due to the coronavirus. Each state has its own rules for mail-in absentee voting. Visit your state election office website to find out if you can vote by mail.Get more information
In-person early voting dates: Varies by state
Sometimes circumstances make it hard or impossible for you to vote on Election Day. But your state may let you vote during a designated early voting period. You don't need an excuse to vote early. Visit your state election office website to find out whether they offer early voting.My Election Office
General Election: Nov 3, 2020
Polling hours on Election Day: Varies by state/localityMy Polling Place