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Danica Roem May Become The First Openly-Transgender State Legislator In U.S. History

Danica Roem just won the Democratic nomination for the Virginia House of Delegates

Danica Roem


For Danica Roem, winning the 13th District seat in Virginia’s House of Delegates this November would be a two-fold victory. It would make the Democratic nominee the first openly-transgender person to be elected and seated as a state legislator. She’d also have the pleasure of unseating Republican Bob Marshall, a man with a long history of backing anti-LGBT policies.

Roem won the Democratic nomination Tuesday after beating fellow Democrats Steve Jansen, Andrew Adams and Mansimran Kahlon. Now, her focus is on defeating Marshall who has served 13 terms in the legislature and was once called transgender people “gender confused.” Marshall was also responsible for the Marshall-Newman Amendment which made a ban on same-sex marriage part of the Virginia state constitution until it was overturned by a federal judge.

Recently, Marshall has championed legislation that would bar transgender people from using the bathroom that conforms with their gender identity in government buildings. Roem sees her potential victory as a landmark event in transgender acceptance. “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.

“Danica Roem is a leader in a national movement of trans candidates who are determined to become a voice for their community in the halls of power,” Aisha Moodie-Mills, CEO of Victory Fund, a political action committee dedicated to increasing the number of LGBT public officials in government, said. “This historic primary win sets up a general election battle where voters will choose between ‘Bigot Bob’ Marshall—the most anti-LGBTQ member of the Virginia state legislature—or Danica, a proud trans woman who is committed to representing all people in her district. I am confident voters will choose leadership over divisiveness and make Danica the first out trans candidate to win and serve in a state legislature.”

Virginia voters will have the opportunity to elect Roem on November 7th.

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