Equality, Pride, and Unity on Display at 2017 Equality Breakfast

June 26, 2017

Last week, LGBT Democrats of Virginia hosted another successful Equality Breakfast that featured speakers included Senator Tim Kaine, Congressman Donald McEachin, and Lt. Governor Ralph Northam. Democratic Nominee for Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax also stopped by. The breakfast was an opportunity for Virginia Democrats to come together to celebrate and advance equality, pride, and unity following a passionate primary season. The breakfast was the first event of the day for Virginia Democrats which included their quarterly Central Committee meeting and their annual Jefferson-Jackson Dinner, a major fundraising event for the Party.

Lt. Governor Ralph Northam speaking at the 2017 Equality Breakfast.

At the breakfast, Lt. Governor Ralph Northam accepted the Mark R. Warner Award for Policial Leadership for his stalwart support of equality for LGBT Virginians. During remarks, Northam explained how his understanding of LGBT people was helped by his wife and shared an experience he had while campaigning door-to-door where he encouraged a father to love a son who recently came out to him.

Congressman Donald McEachin, who was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives last year, spoke about his experience so far and the work ahead to try to take back the House to resist the harmful measures being pushed by Trump and Republicans in Congress. Congressman McEachin also graciously served as the Master of Ceremonies for the event.

Receiving the Grassroots Award were first-time openly LGBT candidates who ran for the Virginia House of Delegates; Danica Roem (HD13), Ben Hixon (HD30), Rebecca Colaw (HD64), Dawn Adams (HD68), Chelsea Savage (HD73), and Kelly DeLucia (HD96).

Grassroots Award winners at the 2017 Equality Breakfast

LGBT Democrats of Virginia is grateful for all those who attended and sponsor’s this year’s Equality Breakfast. Funds raised will be used to support pro-Equality Democratic candidates running for office.

For more photos from the event, check out the Flickr album or Facebook album. Also, check out this press release for the event from the Democratic Party of Virginia.

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.