HRC officially announces ‘six-figure’ investment in Va. General Assembly races

By : Michael K. Lavers of the washington blade, courtesy of the national lgbt media association
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ABOVE: Virginia state Del. Danica Roem (D-Manassas), left, speaks with a group of students at Battlefield High School in Haymarket, Va., on March 28, 2019. The Manassas Democrat is among the 27 Virginia lawmakers and candidates who the Human Rights Campaign has endorsed ahead of November’s general election. (Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers)

The Human Rights Campaign on Aug. 15 officially announced plans to help Democrats regain control of the Virginia General Assembly this year.

HRC President Alphonso David at Diversity Richmond, a Richmond-based LGBT advocacy group, said his organization has endorsed 27 Democrats who are either running for re-election or seeking to unseat incumbent Republicans. HRC this week also said it will mobilize its supporters with digital ads and mailings and hire field organizers.

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Danica Roem uses spotlight to boost other Virginia Democrats

By : wire report
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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) | When Del. Danica A. Roem sought in 2017 to become the country’s first openly transgender state lawmaker, the Republican Party of Virginia funded a political flier that referred to her as a man and speculated that she would teach “transgenderism” to kindergartners.

This year, the GOP rushed to Roem’s defense after an anti-LGBTQ group mounted a demonstration against her presence in Richmond.

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Annual Equality Virginia dinner raises more than $250K

By : James Wellemeyer of the Washington Blade, Courtesy of the Natioan LGBT Media Association
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Equality Virginia held its 16th annual Commonwealth Dinner at the Greater Richmond Convention Center on Saturday.

The event raised more than $250,000 for the Virginia LGBT advocacy group, according to Executive Director James Parrish.

Among the attendees were state Del. Danica Roem (D-Manassas), the first openly transgender person seated in any state legislature in the country, and freshman Virginia Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger. Thirty lawmakers attended the event in total.

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Kazoos, chants drown out Westboro Church’s message of hate

By : wire report
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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) | Randy Blythe of Richmond’s heavy metal band Lamb of God met demonstrators from Westboro Baptist Church at the Virginia Capitol on March 11 with an unlikely weapon: kazoos.

Armed with colorful plastic instruments, Blythe and more than 100 other counterprotesters drowned out the six WBC members with a cacophony of chaotic noise.

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Va. House approves pro-LGBT surrogacy bill

By : James Wellemeyer OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The Virginia House of Delegates passed a bill on Feb. 20 to make the state’s surrogacy laws gender-neutral.

Introduced by state Del. Richard Sullivan (D-Fairfax County), the bill, House Bill 1979, removes the terms “husband and “wife” from the laws. The measure also permits someone who is not married to be “an intended parent.”

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Trans state representatives-elect reflect on historic elections

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The three openly transgender women who were elected to their respective state legislatures earlier this month each spoke about their historic elections with the Washington Blade on Nov. 19.

New Hampshire state Rep.-elect Gerri Cannon finished second in Stafford County District 18, which includes most of the city of Somersworth and the neighboring town of Rollinsford. She was elected to the Somersworth School Board in 2017.

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Transgender Colo. House candidate declares victory

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A transgender woman declared victory in her race for the Colorado House of Representatives Nov. 10.

Media reports indicate Brianna Titone has nearly 400 more votes than her Republican opponent, Vicki Pyne, in the race to represent the state’s House District 27, which includes the Denver suburb of Arvada.

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Two transgender women elected to N.H. House

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Two openly transgender women were elected to the New Hampshire House of Representatives on Nov 6.

Gerri Cannon finished second in the Stafford County District 18, which includes the city of Somersworth, with 21 percent of the vote. Lisa Bunker will represent Rockingham County District 18, which includes the city of Exeter.

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Hallquist falls short in Vt. governor’s race

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Christine Hallquist on Nov. 6 fell short in her bid to become the country’s first openly transgender governor.

Hallquist, who is the former CEO of the Vermont Electric Cooperative, lost to incumbent Republican Gov. Phil Scott by a 55-40 percent margin.

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Biden urged to run in 2020 at Human Rights Campaign dinner

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Attendees at the annual Human Rights Campaign national dinner Saturday night urged Joseph Biden to challenge President Trump in 2020 amid speculation the former vice president is mulling a run for the White House.

As Biden approached the podium at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, he was greeted with calls of “Run, Joe, Run!” and “2020!” In response, Biden didn’t convey any thoughts about the upcoming presidential election, but thanked the audience and proceeded with his remarks.

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Eric Holder to headline annual Human Rights Campaign dinner

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder will headline the upcoming annual national dinner for the Human Rights Campaign in D.C., the organization announced Wednesday.

Holder, who served as the first U.S. attorney general during the Obama administration, is set to be the featured speaker at the 22nd annual Human Rights Campaign National Dinner on Sept. 13 along with Stacey Abrams, the Democratic gubernatorial nominee in Georgia.

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Teen makes history as first trans Va. Senate page

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Sean Bender-Prouty was a Virginia Senate page during the 2018 legislative session. Bender-Prouty is the first openly transgender teen chosen to take part in the program. Photo by Penelope Bender.

RICHMOND, VA. — A teenager from Arlington this year became the Virginia Senate’s first openly transgender page.

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