Tracy Thorne-Begland is a respected judge on the General District Court of Virginia and a Navy veteran who was awarded a medal for "superb leadership, exceptional professionalism and total devotion to duty."
Adam Ebbin is a longtime former Virginia state representative and sitting state senator who represents citizens in the diverse metropolitan area of Alexandria and South Arlington.
What do these two people have in common? Besides being accomplished, they are both gay. And both have been treated with contempt because of their sexual orientation by the man currently running for state Senate in District 17: incumbent Bryce Reeves.
Reeves opposed Thorne-Begland’s appointment to his judgeship not on the basis of his qualifications, which were outstanding, but out of bigotry.
More rational and fair-minded Republicans supported his appointment. And in 2017 Reeves attacked one of them for doing so — explicitly for voting for an “openly gay judge.”
At the time, this prompted the Richmond Times-Dispatch editorial board to say that Reeves’ “bashing [of gays] renders him unfit for the office he seeks.”
Then, just this summer, Reeves did it again. In a meeting with National Rifle Association members, he included Sen. Ebbin’s sexual orientation in what he clearly meant to be a list of negative attributes.
What was true in 2017 is true now: The kind of bigotry Bryce Reeves expresses is disqualifying for the office he holds and seeks again in November.
Whatever their personal or religious beliefs, elected officials are called upon to represent and serve all their constituents with decency, fairness and a basic level of respect. Reeves isn’t up to that task.