Bill to ban anti-LGBTQ discrimination in Va. introduced

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: The Virginia State Capitol (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Virginia state Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria) has introduced a bill that would add sexual orientation and gender identity to the state’s nondiscrimination law.

Senate Bill 868 — also known as the Virginia Values Act — would prohibit anti-LGBTQ discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations and credit. The measure has been referred to the Senate General Laws and Technology Committee.

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Roem defeats Republican challenger

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) speaks to supporters following her re-election. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Virginia state Del. Danica Roem (D-Manassas) on Nov. 5 defeated Republican challenger Kelly McGinn. Roem defeated McGinn by 57-43 percent margin.

Roem — a former journalist who has represented the 13th District in the Virginia House of Delegates since 2018 — is the first openly transgender person seated in any state legislature in the U.S. Roem is the first openly trans state legislator re-elected.

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Democrats regain control of Virginia General Assembly

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: The Virginia State Capitol building. (Photo by Michael Key)

Democrats regained control of the Virginia General Assembly on Nov. 5. The first time since the 1990s.

Democrats gained six seats in the House of Delegates and two seats in the state Senate. The results in Virginia are widely seen as a referendum on President Trump heading into the 2020 election.

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Virginia women’s college updates transgender student policy

By : wire report
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ROANOKE, Va. (AP) | A private women’s university in Virginia has announced a new policy allowing students who transition from female to male while at school to remain enrolled and earn their degree.

Under the new guidelines at Hollins University in Roanoke, enrolled students who transition from female to male will no longer be required to transfer to another institution. As for applicants transitioning from male to female, they no longer have to complete a full surgical transition before being eligible for admission.

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1st openly trans state legislator in US emphasizes record ahead of Virginia elections

By : Philip Van Slooten of the Washington blade, courtesy of the national LGBT media association
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ABOVE: Virginia state Del. Danica Roem (D-Manassas) will face off against Republican Kelly McGinn in next week’s General Assembly elections. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Virginia state Del. Danica Roem (D-Manassas) is among those who are on the ballot in next week’s crucial General Assembly elections.

Roem, a former journalist, in 2017 defeated Bob Marshall, an anti-LGBTQ Republican who had represented the 13th District in the Virginia House of Delegates since 1992. Roem is the first openly trans person seated in any state legislature in the U.S.

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Fired Virginia teacher who wouldn’t use trans student’s pronouns sues

By : Wire Report
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WEST POINT, Va. (AP) | A Virginia high school teacher who was fired for refusing to use a transgender student’s new pronouns has filed a lawsuit.

The Washington Post reported Sept. 30 that Peter Vlaming is suing West Point Public Schools. The system is outside Richmond.

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Virginia city approves resolution against conversion therapy for minors

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: The Richmond City Council on Sept. 9, 2019, unanimously passed a resolution that urges Virginia lawmakers to ban so-called conversion therapy for minors in the state. (Photo by Jim via Flickr)

The Richmond City Council unanimously approved a resolution Sept. 9 that urges Virginia lawmakers to ban so-called conversion therapy to minors.

“A city that values diversity, equity and inclusivity can’t stay silent about a barbaric and abusive practice that targets LGBTQ+ youth,” said Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney on Twitter.

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Va. school district appeals ruling in Gavin Grimm case

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A Virginia school district on Aug. 19 appealed a federal judge’s ruling in favor of a transgender man who challenged its bathroom policy.

The Gloucester County School Board filed its appeal less than two weeks after U.S. District Court Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia ruled in favor of Gavin Grimm.

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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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Virginia judge favors transgender student Gavin Grimm in bathroom case

By : Wire Report
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NORFOLK, Va. (AP) | A federal judge in Virginia ruled Aug. 9 that a school board’s transgender bathroom ban discriminated against a former student, Gavin Grimm, the latest in a string of decisions nationwide that favor transgender students who faced similar policies.

The order issued by U.S. District Judge Arenda Wright Allen in Norfolk is a major victory for the American Civil Liberties Union and for Grimm. His four-year lawsuit was once a federal test case and had come to embody the debate about transgender student rights.

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Virginia Republicans deny censure of GOP rep. who wed 2 men

By : wire report
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ABOVE: Congressman Denver Riggleman, photo via Facebook.

BOONES MILL, Va. (AP) | A group of Republicans tried but failed to censure a GOP congressman for failing to uphold the party’s values by officiating a gay couple’s wedding.

The Roanoke Times reports the 5th Congressional District Republican Committee held a closed session Saturday to discuss reprimanding Rep. Denver Riggleman.

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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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