Gays Leaving Virginia for D.C.

The Metro section of today’s WaPo has this shocking headline: “Feeling Unwelcome, Some Gays Vacate Virginia.”

Edel Quinones lived in Virginia for 10 years, but early this year, he sold his Arlington townhouse to move to the District. “It felt like I wasn’t welcome anymore,” he said. Quinones and his partner of three years are joining a migration of gay people out of Virginia in the face of recent legislative action they perceive as hostile.

Hmm. So, how large is this migration that Quinones and his partner are joining? Well, counting Quinones and his partner, at least two.

State Del. Adam P. Ebbin (D-Alexandria), who is gay, circulated a Washington Post inquiry seeking people willing to be interviewed on the record about their decisions to move out of Virginia. Two dozen responded; 10 others said they were waiting for the November elections to decide.

So, an openly gay delegate to the legislature in the unfriendly-to-gays Commonwealth circulated the petition for WaPo? Hmm. And 24 “responded.” What did they say, exactly?

Many have moved to the District, but no estimates are available. It is illegal in the District to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, and real estate agents and developers say it would be improper to compile such numbers.

A shame that. Isn’t it illegal in Virginia, too? Certainly, of the three real estate transactions I’ve completed since moving back to the state in 2002, I was never asked about my sexual orientation.

Reston-based real estate agent Evan Johnson, owner of , said that when he started in business seven years ago, his Virginia clients, most of whom are gay, all bought other homes in Virginia when they sold their homes, unless they were being transferred. But in the past year and a half, of 51 transactions involving gay clients who lived in Virginia, 26 moved out, most to the District or Maryland, he said.

So, half his gay clients are selling and moving out and half aren’t? What are the other half doing? Are any moving from the District and Maryland to Virginia?

Further, as a general rule, aren’t gays who wish to live openly more likely to move to the city than the suburbs? Aren’t cities, generally, simply more gay friendly, period?

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Fersboo says:

    The gay couple down the street(that would be in MD) pulled their 10 year old out of school a few months shy of the term and fled to Canada last year. Seems one of the girls was an Aussie and her immigration paperwork fell through and she feared that George would personally come over and lock her up.

  2. Christopher says:

    2 lesbians have a 10 year old child? Wow, I thought they would need a MAN to help with that. Why haven’t I seen this miracle reported in the press?!?

    Oh by the way, Canada: I apologize in advance.

    PS Hey gays, DO NOT come to the Pacific Northwest. I have heard most people here are unwelcoming to you too.

  3. spacemonkey says:

    Maybe if they changed the state name to Fornicatia.

  4. If more states keep voting on anti-gay marriage amendments, DC is going to get very crowded.

    Of course on the other hand, if you look at the change in the Allen v Webb race, you may see the impact of this mass migration (be sure and control for margin of error).