Role models of greatness.

Here you will discover the back stories of kings, titans of industry, stellar athletes, giants of the entertainment field, scientists, politicians, artists and heroes – all of them gay or bisexual men. If their lives can serve as role models to young men who have been bullied or taught to think less of themselves for their sexual orientation, all the better. The sexual orientation of those featured here did not stand in the way of their achievements.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Tracy Thorne-Begland

Judge Thorne-Begland Confirmed
To Virginia Court January 15, 2013

The Virginia General Assembly confirmed Tracy Thorne-Begland as the state’s first openly gay judge, who will serve on the Richmond General Circuit Court. Thorne-Begland had been appointed to the court last June to fill a vacancy on the bench after lawmakers had rejected his nomination, an act most assume was because of his sexual orientation. This interim appointment infuriated Delegate Robert G. Marshall, a Republican who led the charge against Thorne-Begland's nomination. Marshall opposed the judicial nomination, insisting that “sodomy is not a civil right.”

Although twenty-seven other Delegates voted against Thorne-Begland, Virginia Equality applauded his confirmation. “This is a big step forward after last year's actions made embarrassing national headlines. Equality Virginia is pleased that the House of Delegates could see that Thorne-Begland is a qualified candidate with integrity and a long history of public service. He has served his country and his city with honor and unquestioned competence, first as a Navy pilot and then as a prosecutor. We're glad the House of Delegates took a second look at his candidacy, ...this time basing the decision on his qualifications, and not on who he is – or who he loves.”

On January 15 the House of Delegates elected Thorne-Begland to a full six-year term to end on January 31, 2019, by a vote of 66–28, with one abstention. The 28 votes against him were all cast by members of the Republican party. The Senate followed with a vote of 28–0, with 12 Republican senators not voting.

Tracy Thorne-Begland (b. 1967 as Tracy Thorne) grew up in West Palm Beach, Florida, the son of a surgeon who was a Korean War vet. Following Tracy's graduation from Vanderbilt University, he entered the US Navy in 1988, was first in his flight training class, and served in a jet combat squadron at Oceana Naval Air Station, flying the A-6 Intruder.

Tracy lives with his partner, a Richmond attorney born with the name Michael Begland. They combined their surnames, and both now go by Thorne-Begland. They had a commitment ceremony in 2001 after eight years of partnership, and their twin children, a girl and a boy, were born to a surrogate mother in 2005.

My earlier post on Tracy Thorne-Begland from November, 2011 is here:

No comments:

Post a Comment