Heidi Brumar

Republican Lawmaker Tells Daughter Of Lesbian Couple She “Deserves” A Father

"I told her in a very polite way," says District Supervisor Jeanine Lawson.

A lesbian couple in Virginia is understandably upset a local lawmaker told their daughter she “deserved” to have a dad.

Rose BruMar, 15, was campaigning outside a middle school in Gainesville on Election Day when she got into a discussion with District Supervisor Jeanine Lawson. By Lawson’s account, the conversation was civil until Rose told her, “one of my moms doesn’t like you.”

Supervisor Jeanine Lawson

“That caught me by surprise a bit,” Lawson, a Republican, told Inside Nova. “She told me things about her family life, and I told her in a very polite way, ’I believe children deserve a mother and a father.’ It was not a debate about anything.”

Evelyn BruMar, who worked on Danica Roem’s campaign, only witnessed part of the interaction. But she says, when she arrived, people were yelling and getting aggressive with her daughter. “I jumped in as soon as I got there, and told them, ‘This is not how you have a discussion with a child,'” said Evelyn, who volunteers with Northern Virginia Pride—and is one of Lawson’s constituents.

Lawson maintains she wasn’t part of the altercation: She stayed out of it when fellow supporters of Republican state Del. Bob Marshall starting engaging Rose about abortion. “There was nothing at all hostile about my conversation with the young lady,” Lawson said. “So much so that we continued to talk about her guitar lessons afterward.”

But Evelyn BruMar thinks Lawson’s comments were unacceptable. “That was meant to hurt my daughter and devalue her. You shouldn’t say that sort of thing to a child.”

She and her wife, Heidi, are calling on Lawson to apologize and for the Board of County Supervisors to censure her.

“When did it become acceptable for an elected official to bully a child?” Heidi BruMar asked at a board meeting on Tuesday. “Someone is coming to unseat you in 2019… Bullying won’t be tolerated in this community.”

Trish Bendix is a Los Angeles-based writer.
@trishbendix