First, in Virginia, being gay apparently makes you unqualified to be a judge:
Virginia’s General Assembly rejected a gay man for a Richmond judgeship early Tuesday, after conservatives argued that his support for gay marriage and challenge to the military’s now-defunct “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy made him unfit for the bench.
The House of Delegates voted 33 to 31, with 10 abstentions, to make Richmond prosecutor Tracy Thorne-Begland a General District Court judge in Richmond. He had needed 51 votes in the 100-member chamber to win appointment.
“He holds himself out as being married,” said Del. Robert G. Marshall (R-Prince William), who is running for U.S. Senate. Noting that gay marriage is not legal in Virginia, he said that Thorne-Begland’s “life is a contradiction to the requirement of submission to the constitution.”
Next, in Colorado:
Gay couples who watched as Colorado lawmakers rejected a civil unions measure are taking comfort in the bill sponsor’s mantra: It’s not a matter of if, but a matter of when civil unions become law.
The most emotional issue — some call it divisive — at the Legislature came to an end late Monday in front of hundreds of observers at the Capitol. It was the second time within a week the bill failed. The first was after a Republican filibuster, the second during a special session.
Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper had said the second go-around was needed to address a “fundamental question of fairness and civil rights” on whether gay couples deserve rights similar to married couples.
The bill’s demise during special session was expected by Democrats, who have begun using the issue as a rallying cry to topple Republicans in the November elections. Republicans assigned the bill to the House State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee, which voted 5-4 along party lines to kill the measure.
“My family is the same as every one of yours,” said Rep. Mark Ferrandino, the Democrats’ leader in the House and a gay lawmaker who co-sponsored the civil unions bill, moments before it was defeated.
Though the ending came as no surprise, the lead-up was emotional. Two Democratic lawmakers choked up before their votes. In the audience, Marq Shafer, 31, put his hand on his partner Cody Shafer’s shoulder and nervously rubbed Cody’s wedding ring.
Republican Rep. Don Coram, whose son is gay, cited his reasons for voting against the measure while his wife, Dianna Coram, wiped away tears in the audience. Coram said civil unions are too similar to same-sex marriage, which Colorado voters banned in 2006. He blasted Democrats, accusing them of bringing up the issue to try to gain votes.
“The gay community is being used as a political pawn,” he said.
I especially love that last line- Yes, Rep. Coram, it’s the people trying to give equal rights to your son who are using gays as political pawns, not the people catering to bigots and religious nuts. I bet family gatherings are a real hoot in the Coram household.
Meanwhile, some minor blowback for the Republicans:
An openly gay supporter for Mitt Romney is asking the campaign for his money back now that President Barack Obama has endorsed marriage equality.
Bill White, the chairman and CEO of consulting firm Constellations Group and former president of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, sent a letter to the Romney campaign after Romney’s recent commencement address to Liberty University, reinforcing his position against marriage equality.
“I feel that I no longer wish to support your presidential campaign and ask that you please return the maximum contribution that I gave to you last year,” Bill White wrote in a letter obtained by CNN. He added, “You have chosen to be on the wrong side of history and I do not support your run for president any longer.”
All the Republicans have is hate and division.