In a huge victory for Democrats and a milestone win for the transgender community, Danica Roem cruised to victory over Virginia's most ardent anti-LGBTQ Republican.
On a great night for Democrats, one victory in particular stands out for its historic importance and powerful symbolism, as trans women Danica Roem bested Virginia Republican Bob Marshall, a virulently anti-LGBTQ conservative and self-described “chief homophobe,” in the race for the 13th State House District.
Roem’s win makes her the state’s first openly transgender lawmaker, and is especially meaningful against Marshall, a man who authored an amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman, introduced a “bathroom bill” designed to keep trans people from using the restroom that matches their gender identity, and opposed the repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.”
As Roem noted earlier this year, “People are tired of the fact that he is focused on discriminatory social policies” instead of everyday issues that affect their lives.
Marshall “is more concerned with where I go to the bathroom than where his constituents go to work,” she noted bitingly. Indeed, Marshall desperately tried to attack Roem in the waning days of the campaign by sending out nasty mailers misgendering Roem.
And Virginia voters rejected Marshall’s bigoted and narrow-minded ideas, sending Roem to the House of Delegates and sending Marshall packing.
Just as Virginians repudiated the racist Trump agenda by electing Democrat Ralph Northam as governor and shutting down Trump buddy Ed Gillespie, they also made it clear that Marshall’s brand of hateful prejudice against the LGBTQ community is not welcome in their state.
Virginia is for lovers, after all — not haters.
Roem knew this race was about issues, but also that her victory would be something special.
“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,” she said in May.
Virginians listened, and got it done. And after making history, now Roem can head to the House of Delegates to make the state work right for each and every citizen.