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Manassas Park's Del. Marshall Led Charge to Block Gay Candidate’s Judgeship

Del. Marshall said the state doesn't need more judges who want to use their position to remake the law, "in their own image."

said he believes the House of Delegates acted properly when it voted Monday to defeat the nomination of an openly-gay prosecutor from Richmond.

Marshall, who represents Manassas Park and parts of Manassas, said he wanted Tracy Thorne-Begland removed as a candidate for judgeship on the General District Court in Richmond because he believed Thorne-Begland’s sexual orientation would influence his decisions on the bench, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch._

 Marshall and The Family Foundation's opposition to Thorne-Beland’s candidacy was the subject of a public debate earlier this month after the delegate said he wasn't able to privately persuade his colleagues to remove Thorne-Beland's name from the candidacy list.

“ … At that point, the public battle became inevitable. I did not seek this battle, but neither did I shrink from it,” Marshall said this week in a release published on his website.

 “Tracy Thorne-Begland is a nationally known advocate of homosexual rights, working with and leading groups such as the Human Rights Campaign and Equality Virginia, whose life’s passion it is to change the law,” Marshall said in the release.  “He has been quoted as being critical of the judicial system in Virginia for hostility to homosexual rights."

Marshall went on to say there was widespread doubt in the General Assembly as to whether Thorne-Begland could swear the oath required of Virginia’s judges to abide by Virginia’s Constitution because he profoundly disagrees with the Virginia Marriage Amendment “that only a union between one man and one woman may be a marriage valid in or recognized by this Commonwealth.”

Calls and text messages to Marshall from Patch weren't immediately returned.

 Thorne-Begland needed at least 51 votes, the majority of the House of Delegates, to become the first openly-gay judge in Virginia.

He received 33 votes, including eight from Republicans. Thirty-one delegates voted against him. Ten delegates abstained and 26 delegates did not vote, according to the Richmond Times Dispatch.

Linda Handler May 17, 2012 at 12:33 PM
@duane, I agree 100%. Marshall believes in equality for all . . . except if you're gay, minority, elderly.
Jamie M. Rogers May 17, 2012 at 04:39 PM
Thanks for your comments Duane and Linda! Why do you think the people continue to choose Marshall as their representative in the House of Delegates?
Duane Snodgrass May 17, 2012 at 08:41 PM
I think people are sadly one issue voters. There is also an apathy in the United States when it comes to non-general elections. These are the elections that are most important. I hope there is a much better option, Democrat or Republican to run against him.
Jamie M. Rogers May 17, 2012 at 11:23 PM
Many many people would agree with you. It'll be interesting to see who seeks his position in three years. Thanks again!
Isaac Cohen May 18, 2012 at 02:54 PM
Unfortuantely people pull the leaver without knowing the person. There are probably a lot of moderate Republicans who vote for him because he is an R and they don't know how out of the solar system he really is.

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