05-15-12, 05:02 PM #1
Virginia Republicans: You Can't Be a Judge if You're Gay
Virginia: Sexual Orientation a Disqualifier for Republicans
This is the sort of thing where someone is going to have to explain the legitimacy of the rationale:
... Virginia's House of Delegates voted today to deny a judicial nomination to Tracy Thorne-Begland, who would have become the state's first openly gay judge. According to The New York Times' Sabrina Tavernise, Thorne-Begland received 33 "yes" votes to 31 "nays," in a vote held in the early hours on Tuesday morning, but needed a 51-vote majority of all the House delegates to be approved. All 31 nay votes came from Republicans, who claimed that Thorne-Begland's lifestyle and support for gays causes would make it impossible for him to be impartial.
Because it can't simply be that Catholics shouldn't render judicial decisions pertaining to Catholics, or women shouldn't render judicial decisions pertaining to women. Or maybe it is. I don't know; there's probably a good argument that Justice Harlan should have stayed out of Plessy v. Ferguson.
Maybe it's the whole gays-can-be-good-at-their-jobs-if-they-stay-in-the-closet argument.
Or maybe it's a bunch of conservatives in Virginia reminding what a vote for Republicans actually gets people in terms of governance.
Bennett, Dashiell. "Virginia Republicans Deny Judgeship to Gay Prosecutor". The Atlantic Wire. May 15, 2012. News.Yahoo.com. May 15, 2012. http://news.yahoo.com/virginia-repub...195654974.html
05-15-12, 05:24 PM #2
If someone who is gay can't rule impartially on issues related to sexual orientation, then doesn't that imply exactly the same thing about someone who is straight?
Or is it only minorities who are held to be irrational activists who can't be trusted?
05-15-12, 07:32 PM #3
Don't you have equal opotunity laws that this judge/laywer could use to sue the state for discrimination?
05-15-12, 07:47 PM #4
This is just one more incident in a increasing list of Republican/conservative assaults against freedom and democracy in this country.
05-15-12, 08:28 PM #5
Our laws state discrimination by ANYONE Including the crown on the basis of race, religion, gender, marital statice, breast feeding, sexuality and I think even in some areas criminal history and possibly a few others I have forgotten is illegal
05-16-12, 01:46 AM #6
This is what we have to deal withOriginally Posted by Asguard
The thing is that the United States not only is a young nation in terms of tradition, it also tends, culturally, to loathe tradition. As a result, we can sometimes be seen clinging desperately to what looks an awful lot like protean insanity.
And what this has to do with everything else is simply expressed: Equality and privilege. Every political struggle is a class struggle, or so it is sometimes said. There are many ways to illustrate the arrangement, but a rough analogy of a pyramid scheme works well enough.
At the top is wealth and power; this is obvious. Fanning out, spreading out among greater numbers, are those who benefit because of the wealth and power.
The Universe is the Practical Joke of the General at the Expense of the Particular, quoth FRATER PERDURABO, and laughed.
But those disciples nearest to him wept, seeing the Universal Sorrow.
Those next to them laughed, seeing the Universal Joke.
Below these certain disciples wept.
Then certain laughed.
Others next wept.
Others next laughed.
Next others wept.
Next others laughed.
Last came those that wept because they could not see the Joke, and those that laughed lest they should be thought not to see the Joke, and thought it safe to act like FRATER PERDURABO.
But though FRATER PERDURABO laughed openly, He also at the same time wept secretly; and in Himself He neither laughed nor wept.
Nor did He mean what He said.
But what of the people who aren't directly in the pyramid? What of those who are not Perdurabo's disciples, so to speak?
What is happening in the United States is that those within the pyramid are, proportionally, fewer and fewer. That, at least, is the first thing; the rarefied privilege is less and less accessible to an increasing majority of society. This, as you might imagine, causes some frustration.
At the same time, though, those at the top of the pyramid are using their resources to shout loudly about traditions, which has some effect.
Among those traditions is one worth noting: Americans have a deeply, almost neurotically supremacist and xenophobic outlook. Part of this comes from our rebellious, revolutionary spirit. Much of it comes from people who want to get into Heaven. And we cannot discount as insignificant the contribution of privilege.
As a result, it's a striking list, essentially involving anyone who isn't a white, Protestant male. Catholics, blacks, women, indigenous people, Chinese, Jews, Irish, Italians, Hispanics ... it's to the point that we're borrowing other people's prejudices; there is a subcurrent against Eastern Europe that I've seen in television, video games, and even people complaining that aisle signs in a grocery store were written in English, Spanish and ... gasp! ... Russian. Hell, what was that Eastern European mob flick a few years ago? Oh, right, that was a Cronenberg film, so maybe it doesn't count. Um ... Joe Pike novels? Robert Crais is a bestseller, and led off a series with an Eastern European crime syndicate. And, you know, I recognize that the name "Darko" is convenient for writers, but come on. Oh, right. Sorry. I digress. But I recall Russian Jews of old, muttering about the Cossacks, and stuff like that. But, yes, the whole thing with Eastern Europe seems a bit desperate for disparaging people according to culture.
Still, though, that is part of the point. Right now, they're down to gays, and when they lose that fight, the bigots will haul out ... oh, I don't know, maybe the incestuous? Or the polygamous? Maybe the bestial?
The point is to have someone to hate.
There is a lovely bit lost somewhere in a couple thousand pages of Brust ... okay, I overstate. Eighteen hundred? Anyway, two servants—House of the Teckla, the lowest socio-political stature among the seventeen Houses—talk randomly about life, the Universe, and everything. Part of what they discuss is how people seem to need to feel superior to others. Well, who do the Teckla, then, feel superior to? The Easterners, who are another species altogether. And who do the Easterners feel superior to? The Serioli, yet another different species. And who do the Serioli feel superior to? Well, everybody else.
There is ths craven, neurotic need Americans suffer; we need to feel superior to other people. It's easy enough to feel superior to uneducated backwater yokels earning a dollar a day on a good day; just look at all the shooting and executing and raping they do! And it's why we love ribbing the French so viciously.
But it works internally, too. Go down that list of anyone who isn't a white male. We're running out of people we're allowed to feel inherently superior toward. And the liberal social scientists are taking away our right to feel inherently superior toward cultures suffering socioeconomic setbacks, so it's getting harder to feel superior to the shooting and executing and raping uneducated backwater yokels earning a dollar a day.
At its heart, that is what this is about.
Some—many, enough—believe that one wakes up one day and arbitrarily decides to become homosexual. That is the choice argument. These people believe that one chooses to be gay. Despite the increasing weight of scientific evidence suggesting that homosexuality is an inherent trait, many people—generally conservative—have made clear that they believe one chooses for the hell of it to become a despised minority.
What is less clear, though, is why someone would make such a choice.
There are some suggestions, but there is a just question of whether restricted sample availability can augment the appearance of reliability.
Even then, though, it's a neurotic complex.
So one might note that States Rights are not dead, though this is hardly one of our shining examples to be proud of.
But the sum effect is that they have not outright lost the homophobia argument; conservatives still have cards left to play, even if it's a bunch of swindles pulled out of their sleeves. It is a significant enough effect that Republicans are willing to stake offices on issues like civil rights and women's health care. The sum of that, in the end, is that more conservative locales have fewer civil rights protections for gays.
I mean, this is Virginia. Being the Ultrasound State, admittedly, isn't as bad as being the Just Close Your Eyes state. And who knows? Maybe Virginia Republicans want the notoriety. After all, Governor McDonnell got rid of employment civil rights protections for gays and lesbians.
No, really. In 2010, he rescinded a 2006 executive order from the previous governor—Democrat Tim Kaine—that included sexual orientation. And then he issued a new one that was identical, except for the omission of sexual orientation.
This is what we have to deal with. They'll figure it out, eventually.
05-16-12, 09:37 AM #7
Tiassa there is a debate in another thread about the 14th amendment that apparently applies specifically to the states and not the federal goverment. Surely if the argument which is being made is true and that it demands equal protection and therefore could be used to legalise marriage equality at the national level it could ALSO be used to have this decision overruled
05-16-12, 10:19 AM #8
I can't imagine "Her gayness makes her impartial" would qualify as a legitimate grounds for discrimination. Should she choose to fight this, I'm sure she'd win easily.
05-16-12, 12:04 PM #9
05-16-12, 05:14 PM #10
Last edited by quadraphonics; 05-16-12 at 05:20 PM.
05-17-12, 12:00 PM #11
Another way to look at this is, anyone who is an activist, who lobbys for a particular special interest group, at the expense of similar groups, is more partial than someone who is not an activist or a lobbyist.
If a judge was straight and lobbied for special considerations for straights, at the legislative level, he also would not qualify as a judge. This job would allow him to benefit a special interest group. On the other hand, if he was straight but was not pushing any special interest straight agenda, but acted like an individual, who leaves their private parts and private life at home, and is not a paying member of a straight bias group, that is a horse of a different color. He is not boholden.
When it was don't ask and don't tell, a gay judge would not be a lobbyist or activiest since he would be discrete. He would be just another person getting along in life. He would qualify. But once he demonstrated special interest bias, how can you trust his objectivity?
Would he be willing to fight against his special interest friends and stand alone if that was the right thing to do. He may not wish to lose membership to the club. If he was a person onto himself, standing alone would be his normal operating procedure. Herd animals are more likely to be biased for their herd that a solitary animal who runs alone, can be true to principles.
I don't know enough about the judge
05-17-12, 12:06 PM #12
So black people who were civil rights advocates do not deserve to be a judge? Like THURGOOD MARSHALL?!!!????!!?!!!!!!
05-17-12, 03:33 PM #13
As usual Quad has it right on this issue.
Last edited by joepistole; 05-17-12 at 03:41 PM.
05-17-12, 03:46 PM #14
In the case of Thomas, there is a financial conflict of interest, as his wife gets something like half a million dollars a year from the Heritage Foundation.
05-17-12, 04:33 PM #15
05-20-12, 11:10 PM #16
Supremacists v. U.S. ConstitutionOriginally Posted by Asguard
The core issue with that is the idea that a marriage certificate from one state should not be valid in another; this would seem to contradict Article IV, Sections 1 and 2.
Once it is established that one cannot carve out exceptions to the Constitution as the heterosupremacist laws passed in the states have done, each state faces a quandary: A state must recognize a marriage certificate from another state; will the state deny the right of its own citizens to obtain a marriage certificate in their own state?
At this point, Amendment XIV becomes specifically relevant. The work-around for same-sex couples at that point will simply be to go to a state where gay marriage is legal, and get married there. Eventually, a heterosupremacist state will face the legal question of why it forces its own citizens to leave the state in order to marry.
The state's only real response to that sort of question is to stand on sex discrimination: We should not be obliged to recognize this marriage because one partner is the wrong sex.
That argument won't stand for long. We are, for instance, already seeing occasions in which a married couple is denied the right to divorce because the state refuses to recognize their marriage. It's a curious outcome where a state like Texas will assert, "We don't recognize your marriage, so you have to stay married."
To the one, yes, it's grim because it is a civil rights question. To the other, though, yes, it's hilarious because this is how desperate the heterosupremacists are getting.
06-16-12, 12:28 AM #17
Richmond Circuit Court Says Yes to Thorne-Begland
Richmond Circuit Court Says Yes to Thorne-Begland
The Circuit Court in Richmond, Virginia, offered a figurative finger to the Virginia General Assembly by appointing Tracy Thorne-Begland, a prosecutor rejected by conservatives in the legislature for being gay, to a temporary bench:
Richmond Circuit Court judges appointed an openly gay prosecutor to the bench Thursday, just a month after the General Assembly soundly rejected his nomination.
Tracy Thorne-Begland’s appointment to the city’s General District Court immediately revived one of the most heated issues of the legislative session, and it promised to incite more controversy next year, when legislators will have the chance to undo the temporary appointment.
The Circuit Court has authority to fill vacancies on the General District Court bench, but the appointments last only until the next legislative session ....
.... The move infuriated Del. Robert G. Marshall (R-Prince William), who with the Family Foundation of Virginia helped persuade the General Assembly to reject Thorne-Begland’s nomination.
“I think it’s highly imprudent and arrogant on their part,” Marshall said. “I hope Virginia understands what’s going on here: They’re contesting the authority of the General Assembly .... This is an act of defiance on their part. When appointed officials get in fights with elected officials, they invariably lose.”
Not all Republicans are as offended as Delegate Marshall. Governor Bob McDonnell, he of violative forced ultrasound infamy, he who once questioned whether gays should be allowed to serve as judges, offered his congratulations on Thorne-Begland's appointment.
That, of course, only upset Marshall even more:
On Friday, Marshall released to the media an email he had sent the governor.
"Your support of this judicial appointment by circuit judges means you hold the appointed judiciary to be a branch of Virginia's government superior to the branch elected by the people, the General Assembly," Marshall wrote.
"We can and do differ over the alleged qualifications of this nominee. And I note that your endorsement of the nominee considerably relaxes the standards as to what constitutes disqualifying factors for judicial appointments.
"However, I and others are stunned by your open embrace of the judicial activists on the Richmond Circuit Court who have effectively usurped a constitutional power belonging to the General Assembly by selecting a nominee after he was rejected by the assembly."
And Marshall continues to seethe, suggesting that homosexuality itself is unconstitutional, and vowing to propose legislation in the next session refusing to pay appointees in Thorne-Begland's position.
On July 1, Tracy Thorne-Begland, who said he is "humbled" by the Circuit Court's appointment, will be known as Virginia's first openly gay judge.
And that despite bigots and cowards in the Virginia General Assembly.
Vozzella, Laura. "Richmond Circuit Court appoints gay judge". The Washington Post. June 14, 2012. WashingtonPost.com. June 15, 2012. http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/...wcV_story.html
Cain, Andrew. "Marshall chides governor for supporting Thorne-Begland". Richmond Times-Dispatch. June 16, 2012. TimesDispatch.com. June 15, 2012. http://www2.timesdispatch.com/news/v...th-ar-1991640/
06-16-12, 12:11 PM #18
This reminds me of Tom Delay insisting that only a Republican judge and jury could hear his case.
06-16-12, 12:44 PM #19
That's a Republican for youOriginally Posted by Joepistole
Like the rules in Virginia. So Thorne-Begland was rejected for permanent appointment because he's gay, and unlike, say, Christians, whites, and men, being gay means he can't be impartial.
(You know how them queers is always bein' a melon dramatic.)
I mean, after all, would Virginia argue that Christians should not hear religious-exemption lawsuits against Barack Obama?
No, really, who's going to argue that in any serious way? The point is well taken, except it's probably best left in the realm of the sarcastic.
Of course, Thorne-Begland is gay. (And, well, you know, them gays ain't like regular human bein's.)
But the rules also allow the courts to temporarily fill their own vacancies, which is what the Richmond Circuit did in appointing Thorne-Begland to a bench.
Which, of course, must be what Delegate Marshall meant when he called Thorne-Begland's gayness "a contradiction to the requirement of submission to the constitution".
Or, did that not make any sense? Well, hey, that's a Republican for you.
06-16-12, 01:11 PM #20
I think the problem he will run into in fighting a discrimination case is that it was a vote. He didn't get fairly elected and then denied the right to take his post. He was not elected. Now it shows that republicans are homophobes which will hurt them in elections as far as gaining the gay vote but they technically didn't do anything illegal.
To fight them on their votes would be like if Obama is re-elected going and suing everyone that they suspect voted for him just because he is black. I am sure some voters did vote for that reason alone. And some voted against him for that reason alone. But you cannot sue people for voting according to issues they personally feel are important and reflect their desires for the country.
Ethically, I believe the republicans who voted against him only because he is gay are simply bigots. But sadly they reflect the views of way too many Americans today. But we cannot sue people for being bigots, we can only take steps to enlighten them and change things. It's every parent's duty to teach their children to not discriminate and to treat everyone fairly. These kinds of societal changes do not happen quickly or by trying to convince the elders. We have to teach our kids so that when they grow up and take offices THEY will be the ones who change things.
ETA: Ok I guess my statement above is outdated. I didn't read all the posts, and I should have. Glad to see he got his post. I was not fully understanding the process that got him where he was to begin with. State laws are far less clear to me than federal.
Admittedly I read only the first few posts here and skimmed the rest.
Last edited by seagypsy; 06-16-12 at 01:38 PM.
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