By Michelle Garcia
Originally published on Advocate.com May 29 2012 7:36 PM ET
Virginia governor Bob McDonnell said that he has never opposed allowing gay judges on the bench, despite his state's recent conflicts with Tracy Thorne-Begland, a judicial nominee who was rejected seemingly for being openly gay.
Earlier this month, McDonnell said that judicial nominees should not be disqualified based on sexual orientation. He reiterated his stance on WTOP News Tuesday.
“I have long been an advocate of judicial selection based on merit,” he said, according to The Washington Post.
However, reporter Mark Segraves asked about his stance in 2003, when McDonnell was a state delegate. At the time, he said Judge Verbena Askew, a lesbian nominee for a circuit court position, may not be suitable to keep her seat on the bench because someone who had engaged in oral or anal sex may not be able to objectively judge the state's antisodomy statute. Askew was not reappointed for another term, but McDonnell said it was because she was accused of sexually harassing another female employee, not because of her sexual orientation.