Transgender woman Danica Roem has been re-elected to the Virginia state legislature despite a cruel advertising campaign that targeted her for her gender identity.
Roem – who became the first trans person elected to a US state legislature in 2017 – beat her Republican opponent Kelly McGinn by 54-43, the New York Post reports.
The newly re-elected candidate posted on Twitter to thank her supporters.
“To the people of the 13th District: Thank you so much for the confidence you’ve shown in my team and me by such an overwhelming margin. I’m grateful to represent you because of who you are – never despite it.”
Annise Parker, president and CEO of LGBTQ Victory Fund, said Roem had “inspired trans people across the nation to run for office”.
“Her reelection proves that political revolution is a lasting transformation – not an aberration.”
Danica Roem was targeted for being transgender by anti-LGBT+ group.
Roem’s re-election came after the anti-LGBT Family Foundation Action hate group targeted her online with Facebook ads where she was attacked for her gender identity.
The group shared a paid-for advert on Facebook which read: “Delegate Danica Roem (D – Dist. 13) sponsored a bill to force all insurance companies to pay for harmful and unnecessary ‘gender transition’ surgeries. Reject Roem’s EXTREME social agenda on Nov 5th!”
The bill the advert appears to refer to is one which was sponsored by 20 Democrats and said that insurers should provide coverage “without discrimination on the basis of gender identity”.
I’m grateful to represent you because of who you are – never despite it.
Roem responded to the attacks and wrote: “I voted to expand Medicaid, raise teacher pay and pass the largest transportation funding bill in six years.
“So what do the groups who want to unseat me resort to? Transphobia – today included. #FlipTheScript on their bigotry. Donate today and let’s win big this Tuesday, Nov 5.”
Opponents attempted to ‘create fractures’ in community.
The advert was also slammed by the LGBTQ Victory Fund, which noted that Family Foundation Action has “strong ties” to Roem’s opponent Kelly McGinn.
Annise Parker said: “Throughout this campaign, Kelly McGinn was careful to hide from voters her years of advocacy for anti-LGBTQ and anti-women causes.
“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 weaponise bigotry for her own political gain.
“McGinn is Virginia’s Donald Trump: willing to use divisiveness to create fractures in her community so she can advance her own self-interests.
“Meanwhile, Danica refused to use personal attacks and is instead running on the issues that will best improve her constituents’ lives. These attacks will backfire.”
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