- (Photo: REUTERS/Gary Cameron)
Gov. Terry McAuliffe's (D) nominee for the chairmanship of the Democratic Party of Virginia is facing opposition from a state LGBT caucus over his lack of support for same-sex marriage.
Dwight C. Jones, mayor of Richmond and a Baptist preacher, faces opposition from the LGBT Democrats of Virginia even though his record on other issues pertaining to gay rights have been in line with the caucus.
"Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones banned discrimination against gay city employees. He issued a proclamation to mark the city's Transgender Day of Remembrance. His police chief appointed the city's first LGBT liaison," reported Laura Vozzella of the Washington Post.
"But Jones (D), who moonlights as a Baptist preacher, has not endorsed same-sex marriage. And that has put gay rights activists at odds not only with Jones, but with Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D), who has nominated the mayor to be the next chairman of the Democratic Party of Virginia."
Joel McDonald, vice chair for Technology & Communications with LGBT Democrats of Virginia, told The Christian Post that their opposition came due to Mayor Jones' "opposition to marriage equality."
"Our position always has been, and continues to be, that Governor McAuliffe pick a pro-marriage equality candidate to support as the next chairman of the Democratic Party of Virginia," said McDonald.
McDonald also told CP that while his organization does "applaud Mayor Jones for progress Richmond has made during his tenure" they nevertheless believe "selective equality is still discrimination."
Elected last year, Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe has openly considered Jones to fill the position of chairman for the state party.
The deadline for candidates considering this leadership position will be Tuesday at 5:00 PM and at least a couple others have already filed the necessary paperwork.
In addition to the LGBT caucus, other state Democrats including openly gay members of the General Assembly have spoken out against the nomination.
Gov. McAuliffe has stood by his choice, however, according to remarks given by spokesman Brian Coy to local media.
"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," stated Coy.
"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."
Jones serves as a pastor at First Baptist Church South Richmond. The church office did not return comment to The Christian Post by press time.
The Office of Mayor Dwight Jones told The Christian Post that Jones could not comment Monday on the matter due to his attendance at a funeral.