Virginia's 2013 Battlefield

Fisette and Parrish assess the importance of November's election on LGBT residents

While Parrish said he is excited to see recent lawsuits challenging Virginia’s ban on marriage equality, he said that supporting candidates who will support Equality Virginia’s push for an employment nondiscrimination bill is a greater priority.

Equality Virginia Advocates has not yet endorsed any House of Delegates candidates – although such endorsements are expected later this month – two Democratic challengers spoke at the August fundraiser. Those candidates were John Bell, challenging Del. David Ramadan (R-Loudoun, Prince William counties), and Kathleen Murphy, challenging Del. Barbara Comstock (R-Fairfax, Loudoun counties).

”We will not be endorsing their opponents,” Parrish said of the decision to allow Bell and Murphy to speak at the event, though mum on whether the organization will officially back these two challengers. ”Both Del. Ramadan and Del. Comstock have a longstanding history of not being friendly to the LGBT community.”

Regarding this fall’s statewide races, Parrish said that Virginia’s business community has already weighed in on LGBT equality by instituting employment-nondiscrimination policies and domestic-partner benefits, in contrast with Virginia government.

Parrish characterized Cuccinelli’s actions as attorney general as ”quite aggressive” in opposing LGBT equality, and suggested that voters also look closely at the attorney general’s race in addition to the governor’s race, as the next attorney general will interpret various laws that directly impact LGBT Virginias.

”Local and state governments need to catch up with the business community,” Parrish said. ”We cannot continue to be hurt by an attorney general and a governor who think LGBT people should not be treated equally.”

John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at jriley@metroweekly.com

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