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Transgender N.H. state representative-elect reconsiders decision to resign

Stacie Laughton plans to step down after a newspaper reported she pleaded guilty to credit card fraud.

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Gay News, Washington Blade, Transgender New Hampshire, Stacie Laughton
Gay News, Washington Blade, Transgender New Hampshire, Stacie Laughton

Stacie Laughton

A New Hampshire Democrat who earlier this month became the first openly transgender person elected to a state legislature in the country said on Wednesday she will not resign after her criminal history came to light.

Stacie Laughton, who was elected to represent portions of Nashua in the New Hampshire House of Representatives, announced she will step down after the Laconia Daily Sun reported over the weekend she pleaded guilty in July 2008 to conspiracy to commit fraudulent use of a credit card and identity fraud and falsifying physical evidence related to a police investigation into the allegations. She told the Union Leader on Wednesday she will not resign

“I’m reconsidering and I’m seeking the advice of professionals and through social media,” Laughton told the newspaper. “It’s my intention to take the office that I was elected to.”

A judge ordered her to serve a 12 month sentence with four months suspended in the Belknap County House of Corrections. Laughton served slightly more than four months in the jail before her Nov. 2008 release.

The Laconia Daily Sun reported her probation ended in Nov. 22, 2010.

New Hampshire law states a convicted felon cannot seek or hold public office “from the time of his sentence until his final discharge.” Laughton received two concurrent suspended 10 year sentences for good behavior in connection with the two other charges.

The Nashua Patch reported on Tuesday the New Hampshire Attorney General’s office had already begun an investigation to determine whether Laughton was eligible to serve in the House.

“I’m extremely disappointed,” Laughton told the newspaper after she discussed the controversy with gay New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley and her lawyer. “He [Laughton’s attorney] said given the magnitude of this, it will cost a lot and I don’t have a very strong argument.”

Buckley and Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, are among those who applauded Laughton’s election after she and two other Democrats defeated two Republican candidates.

Former state Sen. Maggie Hassan on Nov. 6 defeated Republican Ovide Lamontagne to become New Hampshire’s next governor; while former Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter and Ann McLane Kuster beat incumbent U.S. Reps. Frank Guinta and Charlie Bass respectively.

Democrats on Nov. 17 nominated state Rep. Terie Norelli (D-Portsmouth) to become the next speaker of the N.H. House after the party regained control of the chamber.

“I respect Stacie’s decision not to be seated in the New Hampshire House and am confident that the new Democratic House majority will stay focused on the work they were sent there by voters to do: move New Hampshire and our economy forward,” Buckley said in a statement the New Hampshire Democratic Party released late on Tuesday.

Laughton, a Nashua selectman, stressed she does not plan to “step away from the public eye” once she formally steps down.

“I’m going to stay involved and continue my activism and the advocacy work I’ve done,” she told the Nashua Patch. “I’m very bold and not afraid to put myself out there, despite my past. I won’t stop serving my community in whatever capacity I can.”

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Politics

Anti-LGBTQ Daily Wire host says 2 men shouldn’t be allowed to adopt babies

” […] because babies need mothers. They also need fathers, which is why two women shouldn’t be allowed either.”

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Screenshot of Matt Walsh via YouTube (Blade file photo)

NASHVILLE – Anti-LGBTQ Daily Wire podcast and YouTuber Matt Walsh joined the growing chorus of far-right and conservative voices outraged that U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg went on paternity leave from his job in August after he and his husband Chasten had adopted two children.

On his show Monday Walsh not only criticized Buttigieg, but he attacked same-sex couples adopting children altogether.

It’s absurd for any public employee, paid on taxpayer dime, to be given that much time off. Now, you can make an argument for women on maternity leave but not for men. Paternity leave is a nice luxury for private companies that can afford it. The U.S. government is not a private company – it’s a public institution, deeply in debt, failing in just about every way and everywhere. So this is not a time and not the place for those kinds of luxuries. But that’s the somewhat safer point to make, right? You are in a much more hazardous place, you are in more hazardous waters when you go away from that and, instead, you start saying mildly critical things about paternity leave in general as a concept.”

I also didn’t say that there’s nothing at all for a man to do for his family after a child is born. I said that as far as caring for the newborn himself, most of that is going to be done by the mother. She, in most cases, will be feeding the child. The child also needs and wants his mother’s presence, his mother’s touch, her voice. The father should be interacting with the baby also, obviously, but the infant is far more focused on his mother at that age. And needs his mother more. There is no mother in the Buttigieg household, but that doesn’t change the point here.”

Babies need their mothers, which is why two men shouldn’t be allowed to adopt babies in the first place. And the outrage mob can now start a secondary campaign over that comment. But I’ll say it again. Two men should not be allowed to adopt babies because babies need mothers. They also need fathers, which is why two women shouldn’t be allowed either.

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Politics

Pete Buttigieg calls out Tucker Carlson over attack

Fox News host mocked transportation secretary over paternity leave

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U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg (Washington Blade file photo)

Appearing remotely on MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace’s politics program Friday, U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg called out Fox News host Tucker Carlson for the attack on his parental leave.

“This attack is coming from a guy who has yet to explain his apparent approval for the assassination of Harvey Milk, ” Buttigieg said.

During his Thursday evening program Carlson said, “Pete Buttigieg has been on leave from his job since August after adopting a child—paternity leave, they call it—trying to figure out how to breastfeed. No word on how that went. But now he’s back in office as the transportation secretary and he’s deeply amused, he says, to see that dozens of container ships can’t get into this country.”

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National

Biden recognizes National Coming Out Day as time to honor LGBTQ people

White House statement denounces ‘bullying and harassment’

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President Biden recognized Oct. 11 as National Coming Out Day in a statement on Monday calling the occasion a time to celebrate the “courage of LGBTQ+ people who live their lives with pride, create community with open arms and hearts, and showcase the strength of being your authentic self.”

Biden ticked off in the statement the achievements on LGBTQ policy, including signing an executive order on his first day in his office ordering federal agencies to implement the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last year against anti-LGBTQ discrimination to the furthest extent possible.

“Despite the extraordinary progress our nation has made, our work to ensure the full promise of equality is not yet done. Anti-LGBTQ+ bills still proliferate in state legislatures,” Biden said. “Bullying and harassment — particularly of young transgender Americans and LGBTQ+ people of color — still abounds, diminishing our national character. We must continue to stand together against these acts of hate, and stand up to protect the rights, opportunities, physical safety, and mental health of LGBTQ+ people everywhere.”

Read Biden’s full statement below:

Statement by President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. on National Coming Out Day

Today, we celebrate National Coming Out Day and the courage of LGBTQ+ people who live their lives with pride, create community with open arms and hearts, and showcase the strength of being your authentic self. Today and every day, I want every member of the LGBTQ+ community to know that you are loved and accepted just the way you are – regardless of whether or not you’ve come out.

My Administration is committed to ensuring that LGBTQ+ people can live openly, proudly, and freely in every corner of our nation. I am proud to lead an Administration with LGBTQ+ officials serving openly at the highest levels of government — and prouder that together we have made historic progress advancing protections and equal opportunities for the LGBTQ+ community. From acting on Day One to prevent and combat discrimination, to enabling all qualified Americans – including transgender Americans – to serve their country in uniform, to defending the human rights of LGBTQ+ people around the world, my Administration has been clear that we will continue to champion the dignity, equality, and wellbeing of the LGBTQ+ community. 

Despite the extraordinary progress our nation has made, our work to ensure the full promise of equality is not yet done. Anti-LGBTQ+ bills still proliferate in state legislatures. Bullying and harassment — particularly of young transgender Americans and LGBTQ+ people of color — still abounds, diminishing our national character. We must continue to stand together against these acts of hate, and stand up to protect the rights, opportunities, physical safety, and mental health of LGBTQ+ people everywhere. From defeating discriminatory bills to passing the Equality Act, we have more work to do to ensure that every American can live free of fear, harassment, and discrimination because of who they are or whom they love.

To LGBTQ+ people across the country, and especially those who are contemplating coming out: know that you are loved for who you are, you are admired for your courage, and you will have a community — and a nation — to welcome you. My Administration will always have your back, and we will continue fighting for the full measure of equality, dignity, and respect you deserve.

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