Metro Weekly

Virginia House votes to commemorate Nov. 20 as Transgender Day of Remembrance

Resolution next heads to Senate Rules Committee for approval

Transgender Day of Remembrance 2015 at MCC DC - Photo: Ward Morrison

The 2015 celebration of the Transgender Day of Remembrance at the Metropolitan Community Church of DC – Photo: Ward Morrison

The Virginia House of Delegates has approved a resolution to commemorate Nov. 20 as the Transgender Day of Remembrance this year, and in successive years.

The joint resolution, sponsored by Del. Danica Roem (D-Manassas), says that the commonwealth will recognize and honor those transgender people who have lost their lives to violence or discrimination. It encourages Virginians to hold or attend vigils, town hall-style meetings or other events to help raise awareness of the problem of anti-transgender violence or bias in society.

Roem, the commonwealth’s first and only out transgender lawmaker, proposed the bill following Democrats’ victories in the 2019 elections. Had Roem introduced any such resolution while the House of Delegates was under Republican control, it likely would have been blocked in committee before ever reaching the floor for a vote of the full chamber.

Lawmakers approved the resolution largely along party lines, with 54 of 55 Democrats voting in favor of it. Republican Delegates Rob Bloxom (R-Mappsville), Carrie Coyner (R-Chesterfield), Bobby Orrock (R-Spotsylvania), and Glenn Davis (R-Virginia Beach), also voted in favor of the resolution.

Twenty-three Republicans, or just over half the Republican House caucus, voted against the resolution. Another 40% of the caucus, or 18 Republicans, plus Del. Clint Jenkins (D-Suffolk) did not vote.

The resolution now heads to the Senate Rules Committee, which is also controlled by Democrats. If approved there, as expected, it will then be voted upon by the full chamber.

Roem celebrated passage of the resolution on Twitter, writing: “My resolution for Virginia to recognize November 20 each year as the Transgender Day of Remembrance just passed the House of Delegates 58-23. The vote tally speaks for itself.”

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

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