There are now two anti-LGBT+ Republican candidates running for Virginia governor in the 2021 election, who activists say if elected would give LGBT+ people “second class status”.
According to Virginia Business, a Republican has not won a statewide election in Virginia since 2009. However, the state’s house of delegates has been Republican controlled since 1999.
Until the beginning of 2020, Kirk Cox was the speaker of the Virginia house of delegates, but on Tuesday (17 November) he announced that he would be running for governor.
On his campaign website, Cox boasts that during his time as speaker, Virginia “eliminated all state funding for Planned Parenthood, and held back far-left proposals on gun control and abortion”.
As speaker, he was also responsible for killing at least seven LGBT+ rights bills in 2018 and 2019. According to MetroWeekly, these included bills to protect LGBT+ people in Virginia from discrimination in housing, employment, public accommodations, credit, and public contracting.
Cox remains opposed to the Virginia Values Act, which became law this year, and which outlaws discrimination against LGBT+ people in employment and housing.
Kirk Cox will join anti-LGBT+ Republican state senator Amanda Chase in the race for Virginia governor.
Kirk Cox will join Amanda Chase, another Republican running for the position of governor, who was elected to Virginia state senate in 2015.
Chase previously claimed that it was “those who are naive and unprepared that end up raped” and said that the removal of confederate monuments was an “overt effort to erase all white history”.
She has voted to keep a state statutory ban on same-sex marriage, to ban trans people from obtaining birth certificates with their correct gender and name, to allow conversion therapy for minors and to keep discrimination against the LGBT+ community legal.
Chase also described the US Equal Rights Amendment as “nothing more than a ploy by the left to eliminate gender altogether”, and added that “never in a million years would the average woman want to be treated in the law the exact same as a man”.
Human Rights Campaign president Alphonso David said in a statement: “In Kirk Cox and Amanda Chase’s Virginia, LGBTQ people would be given second class status.
“If elected as governor, they would reverse the progress we’ve made to advance fundamental equal rights for all including on the basis of race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, and religion… Cox and Chase’s extremism don’t represent Virginia’s values, and the Human Rights Campaign will do everything we can to stop Cox or Chase from ever having the opportunity to roll back progress in Virginia.
“In 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020, Virginia voters spoke loudly and clearly in support of a pro-equality agenda that advances the promise of equality for all, and we have no doubt that will continue in 2021, when they select their next governor.”