A Virginia House Republican lawmaker, Del. Robert G. Marshall, told CNN that “Sodomy is not a civil right,” offering the false statement as his defense for blocking the judicial nomination of an openly-gay veteran. Sodomy was made legal by the Supreme Court in Lawrence v. Texas in 2003.
As The New Civil Rights Movement reported Tuesday, Marshall led a hoard of conservative Republicans to vote against Tracy Thorne-Begland, an openly-gay prosecutor serving as Deputy Commonwealth Major Crimes Attorney for the past 12 years for the city of Richmond. Thorne-Begland, who served in the military, and his same-sex partner, Michael Thorne-Begland (an attorney at Philip Morris) are raising their young twins together.
“You could preside as a district judge for a marriage of two guys if he wanted to, in violation of the law,” Marshall said on CNN’s “Starting Point.” “Moreover, if you have a bar room fight between a homosexual and heterosexual, I’m concerned about possible bias.”
“When I was in public school … we all said, ‘Keep us from temptation.’ This was because we said the Lord’s prayer. Nobody, nobody — should go where they’ll be tempted. That includes me, that includes you, that includes you, that includes a prospective judge.”
Asked whether there will ever be a gay judge in Virginia, Marshall responded, “We probably have appointed homosexuals in the past,” but clarified that he hasn’t had to “face” a openly gay judge in his state in 21 years.
Asked whether times need to change, just as they did with regard to the civil rights and women’s rights movements, Marshall replied, “Dr. Martin Luke King [sic] 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.”
According to Marshall and his allies, Thorne-Begland’s work against Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell put him at odds with the state.
In late 2011, [Thorne-Begland] was critical of the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, he criticized our Attorney General simply for explaining what the law of Virginia is with respect to certain protected classes. So he’s gone beyond that. He can be a prosecutor if he wants to, but we don’t want advocates as judges.
Marshall also claims “there’s an effort by homosexual lobbyists to link” sodomy with civil rights, which they can’t, because being gay is a “pattern of behavior.”
Marshall is currently battling former Virginia Governor George “Macaca” Allen for the GOP nomination for the U.S. Senate, to run against Tim Kaine.
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