March 22, 2017 at 8:48 am EDT | by Michael K. Lavers
Bob Marshall’s transgender challenger qualifies for June primary

Danica Roem, gay news, Washington Blade

Danica Roem is a transgender journalist who is challenging Virginia state Del. Bob Marshall (R-Prince William County) (Photo courtesy of Danica Roem)

A transgender journalist who is challenging Virginia state Del. Bob Marshall (R-Prince William County) has officially qualified for the ballot in the Democratic primary that will take place on June 13.

Danica Roem on March 13 submitted more than 500 petition signatures, which is well above the 125 signatures that she needed to collect.

Roem is running against Brentsville Magisterial District Democratic Committee Chair Mansimran Kahlon, who is the first Sikh to qualify for a primary ballot in the 13th District.

Steven Jansen and Andrew Adams are also on the ballot. The winner of the primary will face Marshall, who has been a member of the Virginia House of Delegates since 1992, in November.

Roem would become the first openly trans person ever elected to the Virginia General Assembly if she defeats Marshall.

“I’m a transgender woman who is qualified to serve the people of Yorkshire, Manassas Park, Manassas, Gainesville and Haymarket,” Roem told the Washington Blade on Tuesday, noting portions of her platform. “I know I can deliver results on infrastructure projects, such as fixing Route 28 and finding a cost-effective way to extend the Virginia Railway Express out to Innovation Park, far better than Del. Marshall.

Roem has repeatedly criticized Marshall over his anti-LGBT record.

The Republican-controlled House General Laws Subcommittee in January killed Marshall’s bill that would have, among other things, banned trans people from using public bathrooms based on their gender identity. Lawmakers also tabled two of the Prince William County Republican’s measures that would have prevented school boards from adding LGBT-specific protections to their nondiscrimination policies and banned Virginia agencies and “public bodies” from requiring contractors to add gender identity and sexual orientation to their nondiscrimination provisions before entering into state contracts.

The House Rules Committee in January tabled Marshall’s resolution that would have allowed the speaker of the House to “employ legal counsel to represent the General Assembly in instituting legal action against any federal authority if the federal authority unconstitutionally violates the sovereign rights of the commonwealth, its agencies or local governments or their agencies.”

“His own party killed 27 of his 30 bills this year and his legislation failed 68 out of 71 times during the last two years because his own party won’t treat most of his bills seriously,” Roem told the Blade.

“I can deliver results more effectively than someone who spends more time promoting discriminatory social legislation meant to single out and stigmatize his own constituents instead of fixing our major quality of life problems,” she added.

Michael K. Lavers is the international news editor of the Washington Blade. Follow Michael //

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