Nearly 800 Virginians Sign Petition Supporting Pro-Marriage Equality DPVA Chair

March 6, 2014

A broad-based coalition of equality-minded Virginia Democrats has released the numbers from a petition they began Monday. The petition supports the election of a candidate for Chair of the Democratic Party of Virginia who supports marriage equality. The full text of the petition can be found here.

Nearly 800 people have signed the petition and letter in the 48 hours since it was launched. The number includes almost 80 Central Committee members who will vote on the new chair on March 15th. 50 local party chairs and other officers also signed onto the effort.

“Support for our petition shows that Democrats across the State recognize the need for a party leader who embraces full equality for all Virginians,” said Joel McDonald, Vice Chair of Technology and Communication for the LGBT Democrats of Virginia.

Bud Ward, Chair of the Mathews County Democratic Committee and one of a group of activists who launched the petition on Monday, said it is only right that the next chair support marriage equality. “Our party passed a resolution in 2012 that states we support marriage equality and consider denying people the right to marry a form of discrimination. We can’t elect a chair who does not embrace this fundamental principle.”

Dwight Jones, Mayor of Richmond, is seeking the post. He does not support marriage equality. Filing for the position closes on March 11th at 5 pm.

Updated on 3/8/2014 to reflect growth in support of petition.

About the Author

Joel McDonald
Joel McDonald served as the Vice-Chair for Technology and Communications of LGBT Democrats of Virginia from 2009 to 2019. He's served in a number of roles within the Virginia Beach Democratic Committee, including webmaster, treasurer, and precinct and elections director. He also helped start Hampton Roads Young Democrats, serving as their first finance director and then as vice president. In 2012, he was elected to the Virginia Beach School Board, was reelected in 2016, and served as vice chair in 2018. Joel holds a Bachelor of Science in Political Science from Old Dominion University. Professionally, he is the webmaster and English content manager for Affirmation: LGBTQ Mormons, Families & Friends and provides web design, development, hosting, and maintenance services through his business, McDonald Web Works.