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Va. removes ‘homosexuality’ from state definition of ‘sexual conduct’

‘To solely equate homosexuality with ‘sexual conduct’ is both minimizing and antiquated’

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Virginia Capitol (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Virginia lawmakers have removed “homosexuality” from the state’s definition of “sexual conduct.”

Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin in April 2022 signed a bill that requires school boards to notify parents about “sexually explicit materials” in the classrooms. 

The Washington Post reported Youngkin last summer signed a separate measure that requires the Virginia Department of Education to publish guidance about the handling of sexually explicit material and the notification of parents about it. The guidelines, according to the Post, defined sexual conduct as “actual or explicitly simulated acts of masturbation, homosexuality, sexual intercourse or physical contact in an act of apparent sexual stimulation or gratification with a person’s clothed or unclothed genitals, pubic area, buttocks, or, if such be female, breast.”

The Post reported state Sen. Scott Surovell (D-Fairfax County) “struck a compromise to get the code changed” after lawmakers failed to do so. The Fairfax County Democrat offered to support state Sen. William Stanley, Jr. (R-Franklin County)’s bill to require age verification on pornography websites in exchange for an amendment that would remove “homosexuality” from the state’s definition of “sexual conduct.”

Youngkin signed Stanley’s bill with the amendment that Surovell proposed.

Equality Virginia Executive Director Narissa Rahaman welcomed the revision.

“For many LGBTQ+ Virginians, their identity is not merely an action, but rather a core part of who they are and how they move through the world,” Rahaman said in a statement to the Post. “To solely equate homosexuality with ‘sexual conduct’ is both minimizing and antiquated.”

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Virginia

Virginia Beach high school students stage walkouts to support transgender rights

City’s school board approved policy to out trans students to parents

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Transgender flags (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key.)

Students at five Virginia Beach high schools on Friday staged walkouts in support of transgender rights.

The walkout is in response to the Virginia Beach School Board approving policy 5-31, which the Pride Liberation Project says will require schools to out trans students to their parents.

Students have been organizing walkouts across the state since Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin earlier this year announced new guidelines for trans and nonbinary students.

“Students like me aren’t going to be able to talk to our teachers if we’re constantly worried about our school officials calling home to forcibly out us,” AJ, a trans Kellam High School Student, told the Pride Liberation Project.

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Virginia

New campaign challenges Va. guidelines for transgender, nonbinary students

Students4Trans planning rallies, walkouts across the state

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Students and Pride Liberation Project supporters hold signs supporting transgender rights at Luther Jackson Middle School in Falls Church, Va., during a Fairfax County School Board meeting in 2022. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

A group of Virginia students have launched a campaign that challenges the state’s new guidelines for transgender and nonbinary students.

The Pride Liberation Project on Sept. 20 announced the formation of Students4Trans.

Students4Trans held a rally outside the Virginia Department of Education in Richmond on Sept. 22. Another rally will take place during the Virginia Beach School Board meeting on Tuesday.

The Virginia Department of Education in July announced the new guidelines for which Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin asked. The regulations, among other things, require parents to be informed of a student’s name and pronoun change, with the exception of “imminent risk of suicide related to parental abuse or neglect.” 

Arlington County Public Schools, Fairfax County Public Schools and Prince William County Schools are among the school districts that have refused to implement the guidelines. 

The Spotsylvania County School Board announced last month that students are required to use the bathroom that aligs with their assigned sex, and parents could choose the names and pronouns their children use at school. Two parents in Virginia Beach have filed a lawsuit that seeks to force the city’s school district to implement the new guidelines for transgender and nonbinary students.

Students4Trans has organized a student walkout on Friday to protest the Spotsylvania County School Board’s new policies.

Michael K. Lavers contributed to this story.

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Lawsuit seeks to force Virginia Beach schools to implement state guidelines for trans, nonbinary students

Va. Department of Education released new regulations in July

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(Bigstock photo)

Two parents in Virginia Beach have filed a lawsuit that seeks to force the city’s school district to implement the state’s new guidelines for transgender and nonbinary students.

NBC Washington on Friday reported Cooper and Kirk, a D.C.-based law firm, filed the lawsuit in Virginia Beach Circuit Court.

The Virginia Department of Education in July announced the new guidelines for which Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin asked. Arlington County Public Schools, Fairfax County Public Schools and Prince William County Schools are among the school districts that have refused to implement them. 

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