Senator and Lieutenant Governor’s Exchange Disrupts Virginia Senate

The Virginia Senate’s proceedings on Monday were interrupted by the use of a male pronoun.

During the session, Senator Danica Roem, who is Virginia’s first openly transgender senator, directed a series of questions to Lieutenant Governor Winsome Sears, who presides over the chamber. In her second response, Sears casually referred to Roem as “sir.”

Roem left the chamber quietly and promptly. Soon after, a few more senators followed suit and departed. Despite Sears’ attempt to proceed with the agenda, Sen. Scott Surovell, D-Fairfax, asked for a recess, which Sears granted. After a few minutes, they reconvened, but the disturbance seemed to impede the Senate’s proceedings, prompting Sears to temporarily halt the session.

Sears returned from the break and addressed the chamber in a stern manner.

“I want to make it clear that my intention is not to cause any harm or distress. My purpose is to fulfill the responsibilities entrusted to me by the citizens of Virginia,” she stated.

As she continued speaking, her tone softened slightly, but she remained insistent on being treated with “respect and dignity.” It was evident that she was growing increasingly frustrated with the interruptions caused by the incident.

“I always strive to avoid unintentionally causing offense, and I hope others will also consider being mindful of not offending me in return.”

She also encouraged the community to demonstrate kindness and compassion towards one another in such situations.

The chamber resumed its usual proceedings.

Roem remained silent on X, formerly known as Twitter, on Monday, refraining from making any public statements. It is worth noting that X is a platform where legislators often engage in discussions related to chamber business.

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