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Gay Richmond: gay city, anti-gay state

Richmond is the capital of the Commonwealth of Virginia, one of the most anti-gay states in the nation with a draconian ban on same-sex marriage. Many gays & lesbians and allies avoid the state on their trips through the East, preferring the more hospitable climes of Washington, D.C. Virginia LGBT-ers who tend to head to D.C. as well--or at least Northern Virginia, the liberal 'burbs of the nation's capitol.

Despite the conservative atmosphere, Richmond boasts a solid gay scene, much of it in bars and clubs near Virginia Commonwealth University. Locals in the 1.2 million plus city are diverse and enthusiastic, and perhaps one day they will lead a movement echoing Patrick Henry's "give me liberty or give me death" speech of 1775 at St. John's Church.