Virginia Lawmaker: “Sodomy is Not a Civil Right”

If you’re openly gay, you’re not fit to be a judge in Virginia, or at least that’s what Republican Delegate Bob Marshall said about judicial nominee Tracy Thorne-Begland early last week.

Thorne-Begland had received bipartisan support to serve on Virginia’s General District Court, but Marshall led a campaign against the Richmond prosecutor based on Thorne-Begland’s sexuality as well as his previous involvement with the Human Rights Campaign and Equality Virginia.

When pressed for comment during an interview with CNN, Marshall defended his campaign against Thorne-Begland by dismissing Thorne-Begland’s opinions about equality — and the LGBT rights movement itself.

“Sodomy is not a civil right, it’s not the same as the civil rights movement,” Marshall said. Apparently, Marshall is unfamiliar with Lawrence v. Texas, the Supreme Court ruling that struck down the anti-sodomy laws.

According to The Advocate, Marshall’s efforts successfully turned the other Republicans in the House of Delegates against Thorne-Begland. The House voted 33-31 against Thorne-Begland, who required 51 votes to be appointed. The Richmond Dispatch-Times called it a “late-hour lobbying offensive by social conservatives.”

Thorne-Begland, who has two adopted children with his partner, would have been Virginia’s first openly gay judge. He is the only judicial nominee not to be appointed by the House of Delegates.

“I would like to thank my sponsors, Senator Donald McEachin, and Delegates Jennifer McClellan and Manoli Loupassi for their support,” Thorne-Begland said in a statement.

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Photo credit: Elliott Brown (Creative Commons)


Teresa Wlosowicz
Teresa W4 years ago


Andy Walker
Past Member 4 years ago

Define sodomy.

Kevin Brown
Kevin Brown4 years ago

This nitwit needs to learn something about constitutional law. Privacy is a civil right, and according to the U.S. Supreme Court that right of privacy includes the right for consenting adults to engage in whatever manner of sex they want to without government interference.'

These idiots need to keep their bible-based beliefs in their own bedrooms and stay the hell out of ours.

John Doucette
John Doucette5 years ago

No, sodomy is not a civil rights issue. It is a religious issue which has no place in government. Our sex laws are based mostly on religion and the Supreme Court ruled have no place in our society.

Heather G.
Heather G5 years ago

Oh really?? Sodomy is ANY sexual intercourse that's considered unnatural. Sodomy Laws made oral sex as illegal as anal sex. In several states cunnilingus and fellatio were illegal until 2003 when the Supreme Court repealed sodomy laws.

Trudi Gray
Trudi Gray5 years ago

HEATHER G- oral sex is NOT sodomy- it's oral sex...and may be enjoyed by anyone who wishes to- male or female...BTW- what does Heather think that cunnilingus is- another sort of sodomy??

Trudi Gray
Trudi Gray5 years ago

Hey, Virginia whatsyourname- if sodomy isn't a civil right, then I suggest that you advise the heterosexual couples favouring the back entrance of this fact- and there are quite a few of 'em.What consenting couples of ANY sexual orientation choose to do with one another in private just isn't your business, you nose-poking, judgmental idiot.

Christine Stewart

I guess this means they are going to question the heterosexuals about their sexual positions as well?!

Carrie H.
Carrie H5 years ago

Free from government intrusion in your home is a civil right. The constitution does not limmit the citizens it limmits goverment.

Jane Barton
Jane Barton5 years ago

"I live in Europe, by the way..."

Thank imaginary GOD, you live in a CIVILIZED country. You're lucky.