Virginia’s most vocal anti-gay elected official keeps house seat
Updated 10:15 AM 11/4: Delegate Bob Marshall will keep his House seat after beating Democrat Don Shaw in yesterday’s election.
While total numbers aren’t final, Marshall appears to have beaten Shaw by over 1,000 votes, a larger gap than his 2013 when over Atif Qarni.
Qarni, a Muslim public school teacher, lost by only 450 votes two years ago. He told the Washington Post state Democratic Party leaders said he would never win because of his faith and his wife’s headscarf.
Marshall was the leading voice in anti-LGBTQ policy in last year’s General Assembly session when he tried to pass a “Jim Crow era” law which would have allowed private businesses to deny services to LGBTQ people. His bill was killed in committee after he received zero support from fellow conservatives, including the anti-gay Family Foundation.
The Washington Post was particularly vocal in their opposition to Marshall, calling him “side-show Bob” over his history of “contempt for the disabled, for gay men and lesbians, for women who have abortions and for anyone else who does not match his cramped ideal of a perfect society.”
Marshall will serve another two years in office before he’s up for reelection again.
For more background on Marshall’s anti-LGBTQ policies and past, read below.
Updated 9:50 PM : Almost three hours after polls closed around the Commonwealth, Republican incumbent Bob Marshall looks to be holding on to his District seat.
Marshall, who has a documented history of opposing LGBTQ equality in Virginia (see below), is ahead of Democrat Don Shaw by about 1,100 votes with 50% of precincts reporting in.
But the race isn’t over, with about 10,000 votes possibly left to be counted, Shaw could return to the lead. Marshall won in 2013 by a mere 450 votes, which might require some complicated math to put him ahead by the end of the night.
Image via Ballotpedia.org
GayRVA will continue to cover this story as it evolves.
———- Original post 7:30 PM
Today voters in Virginia’s 13 House District went to the polls and we’re still waiting for results to come in.
GayRVA will be watching the Va Department of Elections website until this race comes to a close.
Marshall, a 20+ year veteran of the Virginia General Assembly, narrowly overtook his Democratic challenger, Atif Qarni, in 2013, winning by less than 500 votes.
Marshall made himself known as the king of Virginia’s anti-LGBTQ movement early on when he co-authored the state’s 2006 ban on same-sex marriage. But his desire to strike LGBTQ Virginian’s rights from the map didn’t stop there.
In 2010, he tried to ban gays and lesbians from serving in the Commonwealth’s National Guard. By 2011′s General Assembly session, he sponsored a bill allowing state-funded adoption agencies the right to deny adoptions to same-sex couples, making Virginia one of the first states in the US to have a “religious freedom” law. Not taking much time off, by June 2011, he condemned The Richmond Federal Reserve for flying a massive rainbow flag in support of Pride Month, calling it “disappointing” that the private entity would “condone homosexual behavior.”
He’s compared the love between same-sex people to pedophilia, necrophilia, and sex with inanimate objects and he lead the charge against appointing the openly gay military vet Tracy Thorne-Begland to a Virginia Judge seat, calling him an activist for speaking out against Don’t Ask Don’t Tell in the 90′s.
This is but a small portion of Marshall’s anti-gay activity, you can read all our coverage of his madness here.
Meanwhile, Don Shaw, a veteran of the Army and current private sector contractor, hopes to usurp Marshall this time around.
Shaw promised to support LGBTQ issues and even has an openly gay son who helped him on the campaign trail.
“He wants to live, raise a family, and contribute to the economy of Virginia,” Shaw said in an interview with GayRVA before today’s election about his son, Jon. “He shouldn’t be discriminated against because of who he is. When we start to institutionalize discrimination where do we stop? You can pick a group and go from there.”
Shaw also stressed support for creating workplace protections for LGBTQ workers in private companies around the Commonwealth. “My son could be married in the morning and fired in the afternoon,” he said.
Women’s rights are also a sticking point for Shaw, who has promised to support equal pay for equal time, as well as a women’s right to chose.
“If you vote for the bill and it ends up passing you are rolling back protections from a quarter of state employees,”February 11, 2016
- Del. Bob Marshall’s bill to remove protections for LGBTQ teachers and students passes House subcommittee, February 5, 2016
- Two delegates aim to undo protections for LGBTQ students and teachers across the Commonwealth, January 7, 2016
- Virginia’s most famous anti-LGBTQ delegate offers vague bill aiming to curb state protections for LGBTQs, December 9, 2015
- Prev Stonewall riots activist Sylvia Rivera becomes first trans individual to have portrait in Smithsonian
- Next Anti-gay Loudon County BOS member loses to Democratic challenger
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