Metro Weekly

HRC endorses Danica Roem for Virginia House of Delegates

If elected, Roem would become the first out transgender person to be seated in a state legislature

Danica Roem – Photo: Facebook.

Months after the Victory Fund threw its support behind the woman who could be the first out transgender person to be seated in a state legislature, the Human Rights Campaign has followed suit and endorsed Danica Roem in her campaign for the House of Delegates.

Roem, who faces off against the anti-LGBTQ Del. Bob Marshall (R-Manassas) in November, has largely focused her campaign on fixing Route 28 in Prince William County, the creation of new jobs in the district, and education funding. But she has also not shied away from issues of equality, coming out in support of nondiscrimination protections in the workplace and housing, updating the Virginia Human Rights Act, and removing the now-defunct bans on marriage equality from the Virginia Code and the Virginia Constitution.

“Danica Roem is breaking down barriers while building bridges in her bid for the Virginia House of Delegates,” HRC President Chad Griffin said in a statement. “By electing Danica Roem, voters will send a tireless advocate for fairness, equality, and Virginia values to represent them in Richmond. We are proud to endorse Danica Roem and are committed to helping her make history by moving the commonwealth forward.”

HRC’s endorsement of Roem comes on the heels of the organization’s decision to back Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam in his bid for Virginia governor, and Attorney General Mark Herring‘s bid for re-election. Like Northam and Herring, Roem’s general election opponent has adopted a slew of anti-LGBTQ policy positions throughout his career.

Of the three Democrats’ opponents, Marshall has been the one showing the most animus towards the LGBTQ community by opposing allowing gay troops to serve in the Virginia National Guard, authoring the state’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, and sponsoring a bill to ban transgender people from publicly shared multi-user restrooms that match their gender identity.

With HRC’s endorsement, Roem will be able to benefit from the efforts of the organization’s thousands of volunteer door-knockers and phone-bankers, who will actively be working on her behalf into the fall. HRC recently launched its HRC Rising campaign, a $26 million investment to help support pro-equality candidates across the nation and push back against state or federal laws that would enable discrimination against LGBTQ people.

“I’m honored to earn the support of an organization dedicated to building people up instead of tearing each other down,” Roem said. “As I’m focused on improving our core quality-of-life issues in the 13th District — traffic, jobs, and schools — I’m working to make Virginia a more inclusive commonwealth, one where we value our residents for who they are, not for what other people tell them they’re supposed to be.”

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