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How are politicos spending election night?

The Blade asked a group of LGBT politicos how they will spend election night next week

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Election 2012, Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, John Berry, Lateefah Williams, Andy Staton, Robert Turner, Jimmy LaSalvia, R. Clarke Cooper, Republican Party, Democratic Party, gay news, Washington Blade
Election 2012, Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, John Berry, Lateefah Williams, Andy Staton, Robert Turner, Jimmy LaSalvia, R. Clarke Cooper, Republican Party, Democratic Party, gay news, Washington Blade

(top l-r) Chuck Wolfe, John Berry, R. Clarke Cooper and Chad Griffin. (bottom l-r) Lateefah Williams, Jimmy LaSalvia, Robert Turner and Andy Staton. (Washington Blade photos by Michael Key. Andy Staton photo courtesy of Andy Staton)

The Blade asked a group of LGBT politicos how they will spend election night next week. Here’s what they have planned.

“I’ll be in Madison, Wis., with Tammy Baldwin’s historic campaign for the U.S. Senate.” — Chuck Wolfe, president, Victory Fund

WHERE ARE YOU WATCHING ELECTION NIGHT?

“I’ll be watching election returns with my family, friends and fellow appointees here in D.C.” —John Berry, director, Office of Personnel Management

“On election night, I will be up in Boston with other Victory 2012 volunteers.” —R. Clarke Cooper, executive director, Log Cabin Republicans

“I’ll be in Washington at HRC headquarters monitoring the election night returns. There’s no doubt that this is the most historic election of our time for LGBT people. The president’s re-election, Tammy Baldwin’s election and a record number of out congressional candidates, the four marriage states, and the retention battle in Iowa will make it a night for the history books.” —Chad Griffin, president, HRC

HOW DO PRESIDENT OBAMA AND GOVERNOR ROMNEY COMPARE ON LGBT ISSUES?

“I plan to watch the returns and plan to attend an election watch party but I haven’t decided which party to attend.” —Lateefah Williams, president, Gertrude Stein Democratic Club

“There’s a possibility I’ll go to Boston for the big election night party for the Romney campaign. But whatever I do, we will host a gathering for watching the election night returns at the GOProud offices.” —Jimmy LaSalvia, executive director, GOProud

“We haven’t definitively planned an election watch party. We’re still looking into the feasibility of doing it. But if we do something it will likely be at Mova bar. We won’t have a definitive answer until later in the week because of the storm.” —Robert Turner, president, Log Cabin Republicans of D.C.

Gay Delaware state Senate candidate Andy Staton plans to spend election night at his friend Matt Haley’s restaurant, Fish On, in Lewes. He spoke to the Washington Blade earlier on Oct. 29 before Hurricane Sandy made landfall in southern New Jersey. “If it’s safe and things are relatively back to normal, we’ll gather there.”

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National

DOJ urged to investigate threats against providers of transition-related care

Boston-area hospital forced to evacuate in August

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A coalition of major health organizations are calling on U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland to investigation threats against providers of gender transition-related medical care for youth, asserting ongoing hostility, including bomb threats and threats of personal violence.

The letter, dated Oct. 3, says medical providers are facing threats for providing “evidence-based health care” to youth, which has meant care for gender transitions, such as hormones, puberty blockers and gender reassignment surgery. The targets of these threats, the letter says, are children’s hospitals, academic health systems and physicians across the country.

“These coordinated attacks threaten federally protected rights to health care for patients and their families,” the letter says. “The attacks are rooted in an intentional campaign of disinformation, where a few high-profile users on social media share false and misleading information targeting individual physicians and hospitals, resulting in a rapid escalation of threats, harassment and disruption of care across multiple jurisdictions.”

The letter has an organizational signature from American Academy of Pediatrics, American Medical Association and Children’s Hospital Association, listing no names as representatives. According to the letter, the group represent 270,000 physicians and medical students and CHA represents more than 220 children’s hospitals across the country.

Major health organizations call on the U.S. Justice Department to take action weeks after Boston Children’s Hospital was forced to evacuate over a bomb threat. Authorities later arrested a woman charged with making the after she reportedly phoned in the threat and called the staff “sickos.”

The threats, the letter says, have had significant impact on providers and services to patients, including a new mother being prevented from being with her preterm infant because of a bomb threat; the need for increased security at children’s hospitals; and staffers facing “increased threats via social media – including to their personal accounts.”

A statement from organizations accompanying the letter urges social media companies — including Twitter, TikTok and Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram — to “do more to prevent coordinated campaigns of disinformation.”

Jack Resneck, president of the American Medical Association, said in a statement accompanying the letter “individuals in all workplaces have the right to a safe environment, out of harm’s way and free of intimidation or reprisal.”

“As physicians, we condemn groups that promote hate-motivated intolerance and toxic misinformation that can lead to grave real-world violence and extremism and jeopardize patients’ health outcomes,” Resneck said.

The Washington Blade has placed a call in with the Justice Department seeking comment on the letter and the American Medical Association seeking comment on why the letter has organizational signatures as opposed to signatures from any of their representatives.

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Virginia

Youngkin makes additional appointments to Va. LGBTQ+ Advisory Board

Governor plans to revise transgender, nonbinary student guidelines

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Republican Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Republican Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin on Friday announced the appointment of three people to the Virginia LGBTQ+ Advisory Board.

Youngkin named Kerry Flynn, Jason Geske and Collin J. Hite to the board.

Casey Flores, the president of Log Cabin Republicans of Richmond, in July resigned from the board before his tenure was to begin. The resignation came amid growing criticism over a series of anti-LGBTQ and misogynist comments he made against Vice President Kamala Harris and U.S. Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.), among others.

Youngkin last month announced he plans to revise the Virginia Department of Education’s guidelines for transgender and nonbinary students. Thousands of high school students across Virginia on Sept. 27 walked out of class in protest of the planned revision.

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National

Survey shows 72% of Utah residents back same-sex marriage

Troy Williams, executive director of Equality Utah said he’s not surprised to see that a majority of Utahns now support marriage equality

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The results of a poll run by the Hinckley Institute of Politics and the Desert News found 72% of Utah’s residents agree that marriages between same-sex couples should be recognized by law as valid, with the same rights as cis-gender marriages.

“For a state that less than 20 years ago passed laws and a constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage, there has been a seismic shift in opinion,” said Jason Perry, director of the Hinckley Institute of Politics at the University of Utah.

The Deseret News/Hinckley Institute of Politics survey also found that 23% of those surveyed disagreed, while 5% expressed that they don’t know.

The poll shows Utahns are aligned with the nation as a whole on the issue. A Gallup poll in May found 71% of Americans say they support legal same-sex marriage, a new high.

Troy Williams, executive director of Equality Utah, told the Desert News that he’s not surprised to see that a majority of Utahns now support marriage equality.

“Utah is a pro-family state, and we recognize that families come in all shapes and sizes. When we see loving, committed couples joining in matrimony, our natural impulse is to support and encourage that love. This gives me great hope for the future,” he said.

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