Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell on Tuesday reiterated that he's not opposed to openly gay judges.

McDonnell made his remarks on WTOP's Ask The Governor.

Earlier this month, Virginia Delegate Bob Marshall led an effort to block Tracy Thorne-Begland from serving as a general district court judge in Richmond. The Republican-controlled Virginia House of Delegates voted down Thorne-Begland's nomination with a 31-33 vote.

Appearing on cabler CNN, Marshall insisted that “sodomy is not a civil right” in the course of explaining his opposition to the gay judicial nominee.

McDonnell said before the vote that he did not believe being gay should disqualify someone from serving as a judge. He reiterated that stance on Tuesday, but not before host Mark Segraves revisited a 2003 episode in which McDonnell opposed a gay judge.

“I have long been an advocate of judicial selection based on merit,” he told Segraves.

Segraves noted that in 2003, McDonnell led a successful effort to oust a lesbian Circuit Court judge. At the time, then-Delegate McDonnell suggested that gay people are criminals because they were violating the state's anti-sodomy statute.

“[Y]ou got that out of context,” McDonnell complained. “What I said was someone, at the time, actually there were certain acts that would be a crime ...”

“It's 2003,” Segraves interrupted. “Anti-sodomy laws.”

“Right. If someone had [committed] a crime, honestly that would call into question their ability to be a judge. But I was very clear in other statements of the time that those factors should not be an element of the decision making.”

McDonnell said that the judge was not reappointed for a second term because she had not disclosed on her judicial application that there was a pending lawsuit charging her of sexually harassing a female employee, as she was required to do.

“There were a lot of things, Mark, that led to that decision. This [being gay] was not a factor. And so I'm disappointed that people still would say that.”

Segraves asked: “If a judge came before the General Assembly for confirmation now who is openly gay, admitted was openly gay in 2002 [before the Supreme Court struck down the law], and having sexual relationships, and anal sex, which was against the law back then, would that disqualify them from serving as a judge now?”

“What I, the law at the time, and so, I ...” a flustered McDonnell answered.

Later McDonnell clarified that he would not object to a gay judicial nominee “if they are otherwise qualified to be on the bench based on merit, ability, judicial temperament and ability to follow the law regardless of what their political beliefs are.”