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Del. LaRock’s LGBT letter draws sharp rebukes, praise

Del. Dave LaRock (R-33rd) represents Virginia’s 33rd House District in the General Assembly.

Virginia state Del. Dave LaRock (R-33rd) says a proposed resolution recognizing LGBT Pride Month in Loudoun County “promotes homosexuality and gender confusion to people of all ages” and could be “used to promote, affirm and recruit young school-aged children to those lifestyles.”

In a letter to the editor sent this week to the Times-Mirror and other local media outlets, LaRock, responding to the LGBT resolution proposed by Loudoun County Supervisor Kristen Umstattd (D-Leesburg), opined that proclamations should be reserved “for real heroes and honorable events that elevate that which is good, wholesome and worthy of recognition.”

“Pride is an interesting concept,” LaRock writes. “Pride often reflects an attitude of arrogance, and while there may be instances where pride is a good thing (such as patriotism or support for those who have sacrificed in service to our country and community), having our Loudoun County government publicly proclaim to be proud of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) movement is not such an instance.”

The second-term delegate from western Loudoun County goes on to say Umstattd's proposal is “offensive to many (me included) for government to proclaim something which ignores and contradicts deeply held religious beliefs as this proclamation would do.”

Members and friends of the LGBT community, including fellow legislators, were quick to rebuke LaRock's letter, which was published the same day the Pentagon lifted its ban on transgender people serving openly in the military, removing one of the last barriers to service.

“Delegate LaRock launches a cruel and wholesale attack on all members of the LGBT community, using false stereotypes meant to shame and humiliate LGBT adults, teens and children alike," Umstattd said. “His words lack compassion, decency and the kind of love that God would extend to all.”

The Leesburg supervisor said she drafted the resolution at the request of dozens of residents.

“LaRock’s letter is riddled with poor logic and inaccuracies,” said James Parrish, executive director with Equality Virginia. “Gay and transgender people do not have lifestyles, they have lives, just like everyone else. They are our neighbors, employees, teachers and family members.”

Ben Whitlock replied to the delegate on Facebook: “You 'oppose hatred,' yet continually characterize LGBT people as mentally unstable child predators fundamentally opposed to your concept of 'good,' 'wholesome,' 'worthy' American values. You know what I think truly frightens the prudish, intellectually dishonest moral busybodies who still peddle myths of homosexual recruiters' lurking in every restroom? I think they're terrified of the idea that LGBT people might just, you know, live fairly normal, unassuming lives with the same concerns about money, family, and the pursuit of happiness as the rest of us.”

State Del. John Bell (D-87th) said “discrimination is discrimination, plain and simple.”

"Loudoun County and the Commonwealth of Virginia have a responsibility to all citizens to promote inclusivity and respect among citizens, regardless of age, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or gender identity,” Bell said. “Showing that every citizen has an ally within our government is a sign of that inclusivity and respect that each of us is owed."

Umstattd's resolution notes “everyone should be able to live without fear of prejudice, discrimination, violence or hatred based on gender identity or sexual orientation” and “urges all residents to respect and honor our diverse community and celebrate and build a culture of inclusiveness and acceptance.”

While LaRock's comments drew sharp objections from some, other Virginians praised his position.

“This would be why I choose to drive an hour to work everyday, not because I can't afford to live in Loudoun, but because it has turned into a liberal cesspool!” Jeffrey R. Scofield, speaking of Umstattd's resolution, noted on Facebook.

Leesburg resident Frank Holtz, who shared LaRock's letter on his own Facebook page, lauded LaRock.

“Very well said,” Holtz noted. “These are facts of this matter. Period.”

Parrish, the Equality Virginia director, disputes that assertion. He says LaRock quotes a doctor, Dr. Paul McHugh of Johns Hopkins Medical School, to defend his case, “but fails to mention that his opinion is contrary to mainstream medicine.”

“Transgender people, especially transgender youth, are placed in immediate harm by this doctor who is championed by designated hate groups,” Parrish said.


Here is Umstattd's proposed resolution:

Proclamation Recognizing June 2016 as LGBT Pride Month

WHEREAS, Loudoun parents with LGBT children and Loudoun's LGBT residents have requested that the Loudoun Board of Supervisors acknowledge their struggle for equal rights; and

WHEREAS, June is celebrated as LGBT Pride Month nationwide; and

WHEREAS, Loudoun County has a diverse LGBT community that includes people of all ethnicities, religions and professions; and

WHEREAS, everyone should be able to live without fear of prejudice, discrimination, violence or hatred based on gender identity or sexual orientation; and

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors, on behalf of all residents of Loudoun County, does hereby proclaim June 2016 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month in Loudoun County and urges all residents to respect and honor our diverse community and celebrate and build a culture of inclusiveness and acceptance.


Here is Del. LaRock's full letter to the editor:

Pride is an interesting concept.

Pride often reflects an attitude of arrogance, and while there may be instances where pride is a good thing (such as patriotism or support for those who have sacrificed in service to our country and community), having our Loudoun County government publically proclaim to be proud of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) movement is not such an instance.

All good people oppose hatred and senseless violence, but the official proclamation offered by Supervisor Kristen Umstattd last week went way beyond that. Her proposal amounted to an official Loudoun County prideful proclamation of solidarity with the homosexual and transgender lifestyles.

Supervisor Kristen Umstattd’s proclamation is a bad idea for several reasons.

First, Supervisor Kristen Umstattd’s proclamation promotes homosexuality and gender confusion to people of all ages but ignores the real physical and psychological harms associated with those lifestyles and the harm of the sexually explicit material used to promote, affirm and recruit young school-aged children to those lifestyles.

Supervisor Umstattd’s proposal to express pride for the transgender lifestyle, which experts classify as a psychological disorder, reflects very poor judgement. Paul McHugh, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Medical School and the former psychiatrist in chief at Johns Hopkins Hospital had this to say about gender impersonation, “Conditioning children into believing that a lifetime of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex is normal and healthful is child abuse.”

Second, Supervisor Kristen Umstattd’s proclamation is very likely just a first step toward public policy and school policy initiatives focused on affirming homosexual and gender confused behavior. Look to our neighbor Fairfax County and beyond and you see LGBT pride parades, fairs, and school events. The behavior and practices promoted at these events is often vulgar. The material distributed at Pride events includes sexually explicit printed material which would shock most.

Third, it is offensive to many (me included) for government to proclaim something which ignores and contradicts deeply held religious beliefs as this proclamation would do. Both the Umstattd proclamation and president Obama’s recent proclamation that public schools need to ignore biological sex and replace it with assumed gender are examples of government imposing the extreme views of a few on many. When government does this it also infringes on parent’s rights to impart their values to their children.

Supervisor Umstattd, please reserve the proclamations for real heroes and honorable events that elevate that which is good, wholesome and worthy of recognition.

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