RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The House of Delegates confirmed Tracy Thorne-Begland's nomination for a judgeship, less than a year after his bid was voted down.
66 delegates voted in favor of his nomination, 28 voted against it and one abstained. Thorne-Begland needed 51 votes for confirmation. The vote is the first in favor of an openly gay judge in Virginia's House of Delegates history.
Thorne-Begland's nomination was defeated in the House last year in a late-night vote due to concerns over his past advocacy for gay rights. He was later appointed to an interim judgeship in Richmond Manchester General District Court.
At that time, several delegates argued Thorne-Begland's denouncing of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy in 1992 gave them concerns that he couldn't serve as an impartial judge. On Monday at questioning by the House Justice Committee, Thorne-Begland brought a copy of the military oath with him.