Court appoints Thorne-Begland to interim judgeship

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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

A gay prosecutor who was denied a judicial nomination by the General Assembly will soon take the bench in an interim role.

Richmond Circuit Court judges appointed Tracy Thorne-Belgand to a General District Court judgeship on an interim basis Thursday.

"I applaud the circuit court judges for recognizing Mr. Thorne-Begland's skill, qualifications and competency and putting aside bigotry, prejudice and false excuses," said Sen. Donald McEachin in a press release. "I have always had and continue to have the utmost confidence in Mr. Thorne-Begland's ability to serve our community and I am gratified to see that the circuit court judges share my confidence."

Thorne-Begland currently is a Deputy Commonwealth Attorney for the City of Richmond. Last month, the House of Delegates voted to reject Tracy Thorne-Begland's move to the bench.

Several lawmakers say they were opposed to Thorne-Begland's election to the bench because he violated the military's the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy when he came out on national television back in 1992. Some conservative delegates also believed he would pursue a gay rights agenda from the bench.

Recently, Thorne-Begland began to receive more support, including a change from Republican Delegate Richard Morris who now supports Thorne-Begland for the bench.

According to a memo obtained by the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Morris said he's reversing his decision after an extensive review of Thorne-Begland's military past.

Judge's Order - here

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By CapitalBay Online 06/14/2012 20:53:00