May 1, 2013

2013 Democratic Primary Candidates on LGBT Equality

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In the last five years opinions have been rapidly changing in support of LGBT citizens. President Obama is in support of marriage equality, the abolishment of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell has given freedom to those who serve and will serve in our military, and finally the court challenges to DOMA show that discrimination cannot succeed in a free society.

Our Vice Chair for Elections, Charley Conrad, contacted each statewide candidate running in the 2013 Democratic primary and asked for where they stand on LGBT equality. Please read below for the response from each candidate.

Aneesh Chopra Aneesh Chopra
Candidate for Lt. Governor of Virginia

“I’m fighting for fairness and equality for all Virginians. It’s the right thing to do and it’s vital for the future of our Commonwealth. I fully support marriage equality in Virginia, and as Lt. Governor will support legislation that protects LGBT Virginians from discrimination. I will also fight against any legislation that is discriminatory or protects those who engage in discrimination. We must turn the page on intolerance and ensure that everyone in Virginia is respected and empowered. Together, we can move Virginia to a more inclusive future. I ask you for your support and your vote in the June 11th primary and encourage you to visit to learn more and get involved.”

Ralph Northam Ralph Northam
Candidate for Lt. Governor of Virginia

“I cherish my marriage and my family over all else and I cannot imagine the government taking that right away from me. There is no excuse to discriminate against Virginians based on whom they love or to stigmatize the children of same-sex couples as unequal because their parents cannot marry. I recently met with a constituent who broke down in tears because his gay son’s love would be treated as second-class. This discrimination and callousness must end. We must cherish and promote ALL Virginia families and children across the Commonwealth. That is why I will continue to fight for marriage equality.”

Justin Fairfax Justin Fairfax
Candidate for Attorney General of Virginia

“Justin Fairfax, a former Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, will fight for the LGBT community as Virginia’s next Attorney General. Fairfax supports marriage equality, adoption decisions based on children’s best interests and anti-bullying initiatives. ‘It is my belief that the 14th Amendment of the U. S. Constitution, which provides for equal protection under the law, supports marriage equality,’ Fairfax said. On the issue of second-parent adoption for LGBT couples, ‘I favor repealing the adoption/fostering ”conscience clause” for two chief reasons. 1) The legislation is overly broad and 2) the primary consideration in placement decisions should always be the best interests of children. With respect to LGBT youth, Fairfax said, ‘I strongly support school anti-bullying initiatives and student-created gay-straight alliances. Efforts to ban these alliances violate students’ First Amendment rights.’ As the next Attorney General, Fairfax added that he also plans to issue a nondiscrimination order protecting sexual orientation, gender identity and expression for the Attorney General’s Office.”

Mark Herring Mark Herring
Candidate for Attorney General of Virginia

“I believe that all Virginians deserve equal protection under the law. As Attorney General, I will be committed to protecting civil rights and will use the powers of the office to promote equality, including marriage equality. This is particularly important because Virginia’s human rights agency is now a division of the Office of the Attorney General. I’ll take politics out of the Attorney General’s office, put the law first and pursue an “Equality Agenda” that consists of: prohibiting discrimination in state and local government, protecting children and ensuring safety in our schools, and promoting strong families. I encourage you to read my “Equality Agenda” in its entirety at”

Please note that nothing in this post should be interpreted as an endorsement of any candidate by LGBT Democrats of Virginia or its PAC.