Virginia Delegate Bob Marshall has
insisted that “sodomy is not a civil right” in the course of
explaining his opposition to a gay judicial nominee.
Marshall led the effort to block Tracy
Thorne-Begland from serving as a general district court judge in
Richmond. The Republican-controlled Virginia House of Delegates this
week voted down Thorne-Begland's nomination with a 31-33 vote.
Appearing Thursday on cabler CNN's
Starting Point, Marshall expanded on his objections, arguing
that Thorne-Begland's past advocating against “Don't Ask, Don't
Tell” would interfere with his objectivity as a judge.
“He can be a prosecutor if he wants
to, but we don't want advocates as judges,” Marshall said.
Thorne-Begland came out publicly as a
gay Naval officer 20 years ago and was discharged under the
military's now-defunct policy barring open gay service, the Richmond
Marshall, an ardent opponent of gay
rights, was challenged on the show when he said: “Dr. Martin Luther
King and Rosa Parks never took an oath of office that they broke.
Sodomy is not a civil right. It's not the same as the Civil Rights
movement.” (The video is embedded in the right panel of this page.
our video library for more videos.)
Marshall, a Republican, made headlines
in 2010 when he introduced legislation
which would ban gay and bisexual troops from serving openly in the
state's National Guard after repeal of “Don't Ask, Don't Tell.”