Va. Senate approves bill to ban conversion therapy for minors

By : Philip Van Slooten of the Washington Blade, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: The Virginia Capitol. Washington Blade photo by Michael Key.

The Virginia Senate on Monday passed a bill that would prohibit health care providers from engaging in so-called conversion therapy for minors.

The American Psychological Association has for years condemned the practice for the harm caused to patients as well as for promoting the unsupported “notion that sexual orientation can be changed.”

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Va. House Democrats walk out of pastor’s opening prayer

By : Philip Van Slooten of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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Above: Robert Grant, Jr. at the Virginia House of Delegates (Screen capture via YouTube)

Democrats in the Virginia House of Delegates staged a walkout Feb. 11 to protest a Republican-invited pastor’s attacks on same-sex marriage and abortion.

State Del. Michael Webert (R-Fauquier County) invited Rev. Robert Grant, Jr., a senior pastor at The Father’s Way church in Warrenton, to deliver the opening prayer before lawmakers recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

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Va. House of Delegates approves Transgender Day of Remembrance resolution

By : Philip Van Slooten of the Washington Blade, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The Virginia House of Delegates on Wednesday passed a resolution that designates Nov. 20 as the Transgender Day of Remembrance in Virginia.

House Joint Resolution 85, introduced by state Del. Danica Roem (D-Manassas), passed with a vote of 58-23, to which she tweeted, “The vote tally speaks for itself.”

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Va. Senate passes four LGBTQ rights bills

By : Philip Van Slooten of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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ABOVE: The Virginia State Capital (Photo by Michael Key of the Washington Blade)

The Virginia Senate on Jan. 21 approved four LGBTQ rights bills.

Senate Bill 245, which state Sen. Scott Surovell (D-Fairfax County) introduced, would prohibit any health care provider or counselor in Virginia from practicing so-called conversion therapy. The measure passed by a 20-18 vote margin.

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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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