Mar 12, 2014

LGBT Democrats of Virginia Meets with Mayor Dwight Jones

Marriage Equality Democratic Party of Virginia

This past Monday, a delegation from the LGBT Democrats of Virginia, met with Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones to discuss his lack of support for marriage equality. After the meeting, the Mayor released a statement where he said, “It would be my honor to lead the party in seeking full equality under the law, which everyone deserves.”

“We welcomed the dialogue with Mayor Jones and the opportunity to discuss marriage equality as a core value of the Democratic Party of Virginia (DPVA), as well as a right that should be vigorously upheld and defended,” said Joel McDonald, Vice Chair of Technology and Communications of the LGBT Democrats of Virginia. “Our concern over his ability to champion marriage equality as outlined in the Party Platform is the reason we opposed Mayor Jones’ nomination to the Chair of the DPVA.”

LGBT Democrats and straight allies from across Virginia, many who are leaders within the Party, also expressed opposition. Nearly 1,000 people signed a petition that was on the LGBT Democrats of Virginia website calling for the next leader of the Democratic Party of Virginia to support and defend marriage equality as a fundamental right.

In their first message to the Governor, Mayor, and members of the DPVA Central Committee, the LGBT Democrats of Virginia wrote that, “Unless Mayor Jones makes a strong public statement in support of legal marriage equality, we cannot consider supporting him.” This continues to be the position of the organization, and would be true of any candidate for Chair of the DPVA.

However, LGBT Democrats of Virginia have now chosen not to stand in further opposition to his candidacy based on the progress and evolution that Mayor Jones expressed on Monday. McDonald continued, “We recognize and appreciate his openness for continued discussion and we hope for and expect his further evolution on this subject. We will continue to work with the Party and Party leaders to elect pro-equality Democrats and to ensure all LGBT Virginians achieve full equality, including marriage equality.”