A Virginia politician made history Tuesday night, becoming the first openly transgender person to be elected to any state legislature in the United States. Danica Roem, 32, just won a seat in the Virginia House of Delegates, defeating Republican incumbent Robert Marshall in the 13th District.
Roem, a former journalist, won a surprise victory in the Democratic primary in June. She took on the ultra-conservative Marshall, who has been in office for more than 20 years and who has taken anti-LGBTQ stances. For instance, he proposed the state’s (ultimately failed) “bathroom bill” that would have required transgender people to use the public restroom that corresponds with the sex on their birth certificate.
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In December 2016, Marshall introduced a resolution calling porn a “public health hazard like smoking.” In December 2015, Marshall introduced a bill to override federal LGBT protections.
In November 2014, Marshall badly lost his bid for the US House despite a glowing endorsement from Phyllis Schlafly. In June 2014, Marshall claimed that all charities will lose their tax exempt status following the legalization of same-sex marriage.
In February 2014, Marshall filed an amendment that would grant Virginia state legislators the right to claiming standing in marriage lawsuits. In September 2013, Marshall petitioned the US Supreme Court to overturn Virginia’s legalization of sodomy.
In May 2012, Marshall attempted to block the appointment of an openly gay state judge because the nominee has “an illegal husband.”
In 2011, Marshall claimed it is a felony for a state office to fly the rainbow flag. Marshall has also called on Virginia to issue its own currency, and has claimed that God punishes women who have abortions by giving them deformed children. After the DADT repeal bill passed, Marshall tried to have gays banned from the Virginia National Guard.