A transgender woman won election to the Virginia state house on Tuesday, ousting a long-time incumbent who had led efforts to restrict bathrooms to transgender people, according to a report.
Danica Roem, 33 became the first openly transgender person ever elected in the commonwealth by defeating Robert Marshall, 73, for a House of Delegates seat out of Prince William County, the Washington Post reported.
Marshall earlier this year sponsored the “Physical Privacy Act,” modeled after controversial bathroom legislation passed in North Carolina.
The bill died in committee, but energized LBGT activists – among them Roem, a journalist who came out as transgender in 2013.
The Virginia GOP unleashed an ad against Roem in which they deliberately used her birth gender to describe the Democrat by mentioning comments made in “his own words.”
“Danica Roem’s historic victory is a clear warning to anti-equality lawmakers across the country that the days of attacking LGBTQ people to scare up votes are over,” said Chad Griffin, president of LBGT advocacy group the Human Rights Campaign.
“HRC was proud to mobilize voters to support Danica Roem’s trailblazing candidacy, and we look forward to working with her to help continue moving equality forward in Virginia.”
Marshall had held the seat for a quarter century.
“For 26 years I’ve been proud to fight for you, and fight for our future. Though we all wish tonight would have turned out differently, I am deeply grateful for your support and effort over the years,” the defeated Marshall wrote on Facebook on Tuesday night.
“I’m committed to continue the fight for you, but in a different role going forward.”
SOURCE: New York Post – David K. Li