Transgender woman Danica Roem has been reelected to the Virginia state legislature despite a cruel advertising campaign that targeted her for her gender identity.
Roem captured 57 percent of the vote to beat anti-LGBT Republican opponent Kelly McGinn in northern Virginia’s 13th House District. In 2017, Roem had unseated one of the chamber’s most homophobic and transphobic members, Bob Marshall.
Roem’s reelection came after the anti-LGBT Family Foundation Action hate group targeted her online with Facebook ads where she was attacked for her gender identity.
The reelection of Dawn Adams, a lesbian, to the Virginia House was also key to the the Democrats winning a majority there. Like Roem, she had been heavily targeted by Republicans. Mark Levine and Mark Sickles, two gay men in the House, won reelection in relatively safe districts, as did Adam Ebbin, a gay state senator.
With the Democrats controlling both chambers, it's likely that Virginia will finally add sexual orientation and gender identity to its nondiscrimination law. Republican leaders in the House and Senate had refused to allow a vote on legislation that would accomplish this. With this new majority, these critically important protections will finally pass into law.
Virginia has made an incredible transformation from one of the USA's most conservative and segregated states to one of the most progressive states in two generations. Virginia was a very segregated state through the 1960's, and would prosecute any individuals seeking interracial marriage; the Supreme Court case Loving vs Virginia in 1967 forcibly ended laws banning interracial marriage across the United States; the excellent 2016 movie Loving shows what happens in that case. Gay marriage in Virginia did not come until 2014. Virginia could be counted on to vote solidly red Republican in Presidential elections up until 2008 when President Obama, and then Hillary Clinton, carried the state. Virginia has quickly become a blue Democratic state, The explanation for this transformation is the growth of the wealthy suburbs of Washington D.C. in the Northern part of the state - making Virginia resemble its wealthy and progressive northern neighbor Maryland more than a conservative Southern state. The recent decision of Amazon Corporation to build a huge second headquarters in Northern Virginia that will eventually employ over 50,000 highly paid workers is furthering that growth.ReplyDelete