A key swing state is diving into a hot button political debate After Virginia's Republican-controlled House voted to block the judicial nomination of an openly gay prosecutor this week.
Opponents argued that Tracy Thorne-Begland's past indicates he would try to force an activist agenda from the bench.
The former Navy pilot disclosed his sexuality on TV nearly 20 years ago in an effort to fight the military's ban on homosexuals. He later sued the military for violating his right to free speech with the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.
This morning on "Starting Point," one of the lawmakers who led the charge against Thorne-Begland, Republican Virginia Delegate Robert Marshall, explains why he and some of his colleagues voted the way they did.
"Dr. Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks never took an oath of office that they broke," Marshall says. "Sodomy is not a civil right. It’s not the same as the Civil Rights movement...In late 2011, [Thorne-Begland] was critical of 'Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,' he criticized our Attorney General simply for explaining what the law of Virginia is with respect to certain protected classes. So he’s gone beyond that. He can be a prosecutor if he wants to, but we don't want advocates as judges."
Watch the extended interview below.
If there are heterosexuals and homosexuals of every ethnic group, white, black, asian, hispanic, indian, etc. and the civil rights movement brought about change for all of us all over the world and that no one group of people regardless of race, gender, age, has superiority over another group of people, then how is this even to be compared to the civil rights movement. Heterosexuality and homosexuality is a choice, being a certian color, gender, age is not. We can't just wake up and say Ok, I don't want to be hispanic or black or asian or indian anymore because i'm not being treated equally. Please find something else to compare this to, it's not the same.
Starting Point airs weekdays from 7am to 9am ET on CNN. Check in often to join the daily conversation.