RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – A delegate has created more controversy after the Virginia General Assembly rejected the judicial nomination of Tracy Thorne-Begland earlier this week.
State Delegate Bob Marshall (R. Manassas), who led the charge to nix Thorne-Begland’s nomination because of the Richmond prosecutor’s ‘activist history’ fighting for gay rights, appeared on CNN Thursday night. [VIDEO: Marshall: ‘Sodomy is not a civil right’]
“Dr. Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks never took an oath of office that they broke,” said Marshall. “Sodomy is not a civil right. It’s not the same as the civil rights movement.”
That is what Marshall said when asked why the actions of Thorne-Begland were different than other civil rights leaders. [RELATED: Committee never questioned Thorne-Begland on gay rights, ‘DADT’]
Marshall’s answer that the gay rights movement does not count as a civil rights movement has generated national backlash.
However, Virginia ACLU President Kent Willis said Friday that Marshall’s claim could not be backed up, constitutionally. Willis referred to the Supreme Court case of Lawrence v. Texas in 2003. That case overturned a Texas law criminalizing sodomy.
“I’m not exactly sure what he means,” said Willis. “The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that consenting adults have the right to do whatever they want in the privacy of their own bedroom. That’s a constitutionally guaranteed right. You can call it a civil right, you cannot call it a civil right, but it is guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States, and the Supreme Court has said so.”
The Supreme Court’s ruling also invalidated sodomy laws in more than a dozen other states, including Virginia.
- Committee never questioned Thorne-Begland on gay rights, ‘DADT’
- Probing the backgrounds of judge nominees for ‘activism’
- HOLMBERG: Activists–gay or otherwise–don’t become judges
- How lawmakers voted in judicial election of Thorne-Begland
- Gay prosecutor denied judgeship in Va.
- Commonwealth’s Attorney calls state judicial vote ‘bigotry’
- Lawmakers block gay advocate from Va. judge seat
- State lawmaker challenges gay judge nominee
- POLL: Do you agree with decision to deny judgeship to gay prosecutor?
Stay with CBS 6 News and WTVR.com for the latest on this developing story.