I am a native Marylander but I have lived in the Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C., for almost two decades. I like it here quite a bit, but Virginia is quirky in that it is sharply divided in pretty much every way between the D.C. suburbs in Northern Virginia and everywhere else. As I observed here, Once you travel 100 miles south of D.C. and hit Richmond, you enter old-school Virginia -- the Virginia that makes you realize that you are in a state that was a full-blown part of the Confederate States of America. Day-to-day, the cultural differences between Northern Virginia and the rest of the state are not really visible as those worlds don't collide much. But there are periodic flare-ups that serve as reminders of the state's deep conservative streak, such as Tuesday when the Virginia House of Delegates rejected Tracy Thorne-Begland, who is openly gay, for a judgeship in Richmond. The Washington Post reports that Thorne-Begland is a Richmond prosecutor who previously challenged the military’s "don't ask, don't tell" policy, has advocated for gay marriage and is raising twins with his partner. Thorne-Begland's opponents argued that they voted against him not because he was gay, but...

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