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Trans Candidate for Va. House of Delegates to Go Up Against GOP Bathroom Bill Sponsor

Wednesday June 14, 2017

The race for the 13th District's seat in Virginia's House of Delegates is proving to be a historic one. Former journalist Danica Roem won the Democratic nomination in the primary last Thursday. If Roem wins, she will become the first openly transgender elected as a state legislator, the Associated Press reports.

While this is a watershed moment for transgender equality, it's unlikely that Roem being transgender won't be a part of the campaign against her leading up to November's election, in which she faces Republican Del. Bob Marshall, a 13-term incumbent with a long history of pushing anti-LGBT legislation.

As the Washington Blade points out, during his tenure in the legislature, Marshall was responsible for the Marshall-Newman Amendment that banned same-sex marriage in Virginia. He also recently pushed a bill that aimed to keep transgender citizens from using restrooms that align with their gender in any government-owned building. A Republican-led committee eventually killed the bill.

Roem noted the historical nature of her campaign at a brunch for the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund last month.

"Let me make this really clear for you: When the people of the 13th District elect a transgender woman to replace the most anti-LGBT legislator in the South, it will be an act of certainty, and it will be a defining moment that will resonate across the country," Roem said.

Roem's chances of winning the seat are good. She won her VA leg primary by 15 percent and faces her unpopular incumbent challenger in a district that voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016.

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