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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Va. health officials take steps to ban conversion therapy

By : wire report
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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) | The Virginia Board of Psychology has issued a letter of guidance stating that conversion therapy should be considered a violation of standard practices, which LGBTQ advocates hope is a major step toward halting the practice.

Conversion therapy, which aims to change the sexual orientation, gender expression or identity of LGBTQ individuals, has been banned in several states across the U.S. but is still legal in Virginia.

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Va. teacher fired over treatment of transgender student

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A Virginia school district has fired a teacher who refused to use male pronouns to refer to a transgender student.

WTVR, a Richmond television station, reported Peter Vlaming, a French teacher at West Point High School, refused to identify a student who had recently transitioned as “he” and “him” in October while he was in his classroom. The West Point Public School Board on Dec. 6 voted unanimously to fire Vlaming after a 5-hour hearing.

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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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Gay-owned company brings Parkland shooter’s brother to Va.

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Zachary Cruz was arrested for trespassing at the school where his brother allegedly killed 17 people. Photo courtesy Broward County Police.

A Virginia-based company founded by a gay businessman last week arranged for the release from jail of the brother of the Parkland, Fla., shooting suspect who had been arrested in March for trespassing on the grounds of the school in which his brother allegedly killed 17 people.

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Roem defeats Marshall in Va. House of Delegates race

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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ABOVE:  Virginia state Del.-elect Danica Roem (D-Manassas) speaks to supporters in Lake Ridge, Va., on Nov. 7, 2017, after she ousted state Del. Bob Marshall (R-Prince William County) by a nearly double-digit margin. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

LAKE RIDGE, Va. — Danica Roem on Tuesday soundly defeated Virginia state Del. Bob Marshall (R-Prince William County) in a race that garnered national attention.

With 100 percent of precincts in the 13th District reporting, Roem defeated Marshall by a 54-45 percent margin.

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