As Virginia’s state legislative election approaches, an anti-LGBTQ group has released a transphobic ad attacking Danica Roem, a member of the Virginia House of Delegates.
The Facebook ad from the Richmond-based Family Foundation Action accuses Roem, the first openly trans person to serve in a state legislature, of pursuing an “EXTREME social agenda.” It says she “sponsored a bill to force all insurance companies to pay for harmful and unnecessary ‘gender transition’ surgeries.” Roem has pointed out that the bill didn’t originate with her but that such health care is indeed necessary — and not harmful.
Roem, a Democrat first elected in 2017, is up for reelection from a northern Virginia district in Tuesday’s vote, and her opponent is a deeply anti-LGBTQ Republican, Kelly McGinn. McGinn has said marriage equality is as morally repugnant as slavery and called adoption by LGBTQ people a “social experiment on our children.” She opposes LGBTQ-inclusive antidiscrimination laws, and she is strongly anti-abortion and antifeminist. She has ties to the Family Foundation, having spoken at one of its press conferences as recently as January, according to the LGBTQ Victory Fund, which supports Roem.
“Throughout this campaign, Kelly McGinn was careful to hide from voters her years of advocacy for anti-LGBTQ and anti-women causes,” Annise Parker, Victory Fund president and CEO, said in a press release. “But with desperation kicking in less than a week before Election Day, McGinn is abandoning a debate on how to best serve Virginians and is instead attempting to weaponize bigotry for her own political gain."
Roem, who could make history again by becoming the first openly trans state lawmaker to win reelection, responded to the ad on Twitter, showing it along with an anti-trans news release from the infamous Westboro Baptist Church.