June 19, 2017 Press Releases and Announcements

DPVA’s LGBT Caucus Honors Candidates at Equality Breakfast

by Katie Baker

RICHMOND, Va. -- At its Equality Breakfast on June 17, the Democratic Party of Virginia's LGBT Caucus honored the six openly-LGBT candidates who filed to challenge Republican incumbents in House of Delegates this year.

The candidates honored were: Dawn Adams, Rebecca Colaw, Kelly DeLucia, Ben Hixon, Danica Roem and Chelsea Savage.

This year marks a record number of openly-LGBT Democratic candidates, including five nominees for Republican-held seats. If successful, they would join Delegate Mark Levine, Delegate Mark Sickles, and Senator Adam Ebbin in the General Assembly.

Tuesday’s primary also brought the first openly transgender Democratic nominee for office in Virginia history, former journalist Danica Roem. Roem is challenging Delegate Bob Marshall, who introduced a “Bathroom Bill” that the Washington Post said “goes further than” North Carolina’s HB2.

Republicans in the House of Delegates this year killed legislation sponsored by Delegate Levine that would have protected the LGBT community from discrimination in housing, employment, and public accommodations. House Republicans also killed legislation sponsored by Delegate Sickles that would have stripped outdated and discriminatory language banning same-sex marriage from the Constitution of Virginia.

“Democratic elected officials and community leaders are valiantly pushing the Commonwealth forward in the realm of LGBT rights,” said Maggie Sacra, LGBT Democrats of Virginia Caucus Chair. “While the other side of the aisle is focused on stripping the rights of hardworking Virginians, we are thrilled to recognize those in our community looking to the future instead of getting stuck in the past.”

Representative Donald McEachin served as Master of Ceremonies for the event. Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ralph Northam and U.S. Senator Tim Kaine both offered remarks.

CAPTION: Six openly-LGBT candidates filed to challenge Republican incumbents in the House of Delegates this year. From left: Ben Hixon, Dawn Adams, Danica Roem, Kelly DeLucia, Rebecca Colaw and Chelsea Savage.