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LGBT-equality group cautions Gov. McAuliffe about Dwight Jones

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RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – The People of Faith for Equality in Virginia (POFEV) sent a letter to Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe about the possibility of Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones being named the next chairman of the Democratic Party of Virginia (DPV).

POFEV is “an interfaith movement for LGBT equality” in Virginia.

“Mayor Jones has much to recommend him as a public leader—as do many individuals whom you might consider. However, he has not appeared to many as friendly to the concerns of the LGBT community in general,” POFEV President Rev. Dr. Robin H. Gorsline wrote in the letter to the governor. “While he has supported and issued anti-discrimination policies in the workplace, he has not been enthusiastic in his outreach to the LGBT community and he has failed to support marriage equality in particular.”

In addition to being the mayor of Richmond, Jones is the senior pastor at First Baptist Church of South Richmond. When President Barack Obama declared his support for same-sex unions in 2012, Mayor Jones issued the following statement:

 “This is one issue that President Obama and I disagree on. Despite this disagreement however, I applaud the efforts and work of President Obama and his administration and I will do whatever I can to ensure he is re-elected.”

Gorsline’s letter warned Governor McAuliffe about the impact his support for Jones as  DPV  chair could have on the state.

“His [Jones] engagement and position on marriage equality would set a low bar for all elected officials in the state about the importance of marriage equality and could be interpreted as indicating that your support for equality is less deep than your public statements would indicate,” Gorsline wrote.

Gorsline suggested Jones sign the  “Mayors for the Freedom to Marry” statement as a show of support for the LGBT community.

Jones could be named Chairman of the Democratic Party of Virginia during the group’s March 15 meeting.

“Governor McAuliffe believes the next state party chair should be a leader who will grow the party, manage the organization effectively and win elections. That is why he fully supports his good friend Mayor Dwight Jones,” McAuliffe spokesman Brian Coy wrote in an email when asked to respond to the letter. “Mayor Jones has spent his life fighting for civil rights and for equal treatment for all Virginians under the law. He is a great Mayor for Richmond and he will be a strong leader and voice for progress as chair of the Democratic Party of Virginia.”

CBS 6 News also reached out to Mayor Jones for his reaction to the POFEV’s letter. We will update this story when he replies.

This is a developing story.


  • manalishi

    Maybe the LGBT-equality group should have thought about mcAliffe’s endorsement of Jones before they endorsed Mcauliffe. Democrats don’t give anything, there is always a price.

  • jim

    It could be worse like the Pastor in Kenya who told women they cannot wear underwear in church anymore, because it prohibits them from feeling close to God.

  • tasha

    Why is it that if you dont agree with the LGBT then YOU are wrong. If they truly believe in equality then live & let live!

  • Glen Allen

    Lord knows I have absolutely no use for Mayor Jones, but he IS entitled to his own opinion, and I don’t see what it matters how he feels about the issue as long as he supports equal rights for EVERYONE, including the LGBT. The man is the head preacher of a church that openly discriminates against gays when it comes to marriage. The reason they give is that they actually believe that sexual preference is a choice, and that homosexual people can eventually overcome their homosexuality – LOL!, what did people think he would do? That church paid for his home, his cars, his DIVORCE, his family, etc; and paved his way to the position he has today. Does it really matter what the man thinks?

  • PC

    Hard to tell who actually governs now day.
    Isn’t it the rich, corporate, donors, financiers, contributors and propagandizing Tax Exempt/Non Profit Special Interest Consortiums?
    Didn’t Democrats run a long running, highly publicized Campaign and,
    Occupation Nationwide against The Rich and Big Corporate?
    Come to find out they have bought, own, operate, manage, and run
    Democrats. Democrats will back whatever current Special Interest
    for their Almighty VOTES, especially if you Pay Them..
    Party will not allow independent thought, actions, or beliefs. OBEY.

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