I’m not sure how this made it into Fred Hiatt’s loss leader for Kaplan, but more power to them:
But for House Republicans, and for the Family Foundation, an anti-gay group that stirred up opposition to Mr. Thorne-Begland’s nomination, his sexual orientation trumped his copious professional qualifications. Del. Robert G. Marshall (R-Prince William), who last year expressed the view that gays are “intrinsically disordered,” denounced the nominee as “an aggressive activist for the pro-homosexual agenda.”
Mr. Marshall — known in Richmond as “Sideshow Bob” — said that, as a gay man living with a domestic partner, Mr. Thorne-Begland had a lifestyle that would impede him from upholding Virginia’s constitution, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman. As if the nominee’s sexual orientation would cripple his ability to preside over traffic cases and misdemeanors.
Other GOP delegates impugned Mr. Thorne-Begland’s character by noting that he’d concealed his homosexuality when he enlisted in the Navy in the late 1980s. Never mind that the military’s own rules, reflecting America’s evolving views, have moved well beyond that debate.
No matter how they dressed it up, the Republicans’ opposition boiled down to old-fashioned prejudice. Even by voting at 1 a.m., they couldn’t hide the fact that bigotry and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is alive and well in the state of Virginia.
I agree with every piece of this editorial, with one minor quibble. This isn’t “old-fashioned prejudice” or “old-fashioned bigotry,” this is the new-fashioned bigotry that the Christianist and Bircher right have normalized for us all. In the old-fashioned kind of bigotry, you were at least embarrassed enough to hide behind a hood and robe as you sneaked around burning crosses in people’s front yards. In the new kind, you are accepted into polite society, allowed on television to every day spew your bile, and stand proudly in the well of your state house telling us that the baby Jesus demands that no gays adopt babies or become judges or are treated like human beings.