- After Lawmakers Nix Gay Prosecutor for Judge’s Seat, Top Va. Attorney Calls Vote an ‘Embarassment’
After Lawmakers Nix Gay Prosecutor for Judge’s Seat, Top Va. Attorney Calls Vote an ‘Embarassment’
Posted May 15, 2012 4:55 PM CST
By Martha Neil
An openly gay Virginia prosecutor who formerly served as a U.S. Navy fighter pilot was rejected by lawmakers for a seat on the state court bench Tuesday.
Tracy Thorne-Begland, who serves as chief deputy commonwealth attorney in Richmond, is raising twins with his partner, who is also a lawyer, the New York Times (reg. req.) reports.
The Virginia House of Delegates voted 33-31, with 10 abstentions, not to approve him for the state court seat.
During a lunchtime courthouse news conference after the vote, Thorne-Begland's boss, Richmond Commonwealth's Attorney Michael N. Herring, said his deputy would have been an outstanding judge and called the vote an "embarrassment," the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports.
“It's hard to think about what happened in the General Assembly and not conclude that it's a form of bigotry,” Herring said.