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Anti-transgender student bill dies in Va. House committee

Senate panel tabled identical measure last week

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(Public domain photo)

A Virginia House of Delegates committee on Wednesday killed a bill that would have eliminated the requirement that school districts must implement the state Department of Education’s transgender and non-binary student guidelines.

The House Education Committee by an 11-11 vote margin tabled House Bill 988 that state Del. Scott Wyatt (R-Hanover County) introduced. State Del. Carrie Coyner (R-Chesterfield County) is the only Republican who voted against the measure.

“HB 988, which would have removed the requirement for school boards to adopt model policies protecting trans and non-binary students, failed to report out of committee,” tweeted Equality Virginia. “988 is dead!”

The Virginia Senate Education and Health Committee last week tabled an identical bill that state Sen. Travis Hackworth (R-Tazewell County) introduced.

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Virginia

Youngkin makes additional appointments to Va. LGBTQ+ Advisory Board

Governor plans to revise transgender, nonbinary student guidelines

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Republican Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Republican Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin on Friday announced the appointment of three people to the Virginia LGBTQ+ Advisory Board.

Youngkin named Kerry Flynn, Jason Geske and Collin J. Hite to the board.

Casey Flores, the president of Log Cabin Republicans of Richmond, in July resigned from the board before his tenure was to begin. The resignation came amid growing criticism over a series of anti-LGBTQ and misogynist comments he made against Vice President Kamala Harris and U.S. Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.), among others.

Youngkin last month announced he plans to revise the Virginia Department of Education’s guidelines for transgender and nonbinary students. Thousands of high school students across Virginia on Sept. 27 walked out of class in protest of the planned revision.

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Virginia

Equality Virginia to track implementation of trans, nonbinary student protections

State Department of Education issued guidelines in 2020

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(Bigstock photo)

Equality Virginia on Thursday announced it will track whether school boards have implemented the Virginia Department of Education’s guidelines for transgender and nonbinary students.

Equality Virginia Executive Director Narissa S. Rahaman in a press release notes “almost half of Virginia’s K-12 students attend schools in divisions that have fully adopted VDOE’s model policies for the treatment of transgender students” since their issuance in 2020. 

“These policies, developed in accordance with evidence-based best practices, give teachers and administrators critical tools to create safe, inclusive and learning environments for all students,” said Rahaman. “School boards in every corner of our commonwealth have a unique and urgent opportunity to protect transgender students by adopting the model policies.”

Equality Virginia in its press release further noted the School Board Policy and Meeting Tracker will “provide parents, advocates and students information on local school board meetings, potential agenda items and opportunity for public comment, and whether the school district has adopted” the guidelines.

Thursday’s announcement coincides with continued challenges to the guidelines and ongoing efforts to curtail the rights of trans and nonbinary students in Virginia.

Virginia lawmakers earlier this year tabled two bills that would have eliminated the requirement for school districts to implement the guidelines.

The Hanover County School Board last month approved a policy that requires trans students to request permission to use school bathrooms consistent with their gender identity. GLSEN earlier this month sharply criticized Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin after he called for schools to out trans and gender nonconforming students to their parents.

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Virginia

Youngkin appoints three new Va. LGBTQ+ Advisory Board members

Casey Flores resigned last month after offensive tweets surfaced

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Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Republican Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin on Monday announced the appointment of three people to the Virginia LGBTQ+ Advisory Board.

Youngkin’s office in a press release noted Log Cabin Republicans of Hampton Roads President Phil Kazmierczak, Preston Main of Hanover County and Thomas N. Turner of Suffolk City have been named to the board.

Virginia Log Cabin Republicans President Casey Flores last month resigned from the board before his tenure began. The resignation came amid growing controversy over a series of anti-LGBTQ and misogynist comments he made against Vice President Kamala Harris and U.S. Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.), among others.

“Casey Flores withdrew and resigned from the board as he is accepting a professional opportunity outside of the commonwealth,” Youngkin’s spokesperson told the Blade on Tuesday. 

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