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Del. Dave 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.

Comments


Larock represents leesburg , i think, and she says this about him publicly! “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.”  That’s one way of turning a delegate away from helping the town!


on fb - da larock gloating over his “divisive, dangerous, and discriminatory” lifestyle, endorsing one particular point of view of family “values”


“So Jeanne-T, you are saying people shouldnt be fired for their views on homosexuality?”

@SterlingDad:  No, I don’t believe people who oppose homosexuality should be fired because they believe that.  Why do you believe they should?

“Does this mean people shouldnt be fited for veing homosexual?”

No. Does that answer your question?


comments like those of LaRock is part of the reason Eugene Delgaudio is not around anymore. What is up with people saying that others promote homosexuality? People are born they way they are. It is not a choice. But sticking up for a group that has been chided because of who they are is nothing more than promoting fairness and equality.


great rebuttal to larock’s characterization of gays & trans as harmful, psychologically disordered, false reaction to basic proclamation of equality & respect (bluevirginia)


I would comment on this but I haven’t decided if I want to comment on it from a male or female point of view because today I’m having a hard time on what sex I want to identify as.


I poked around the Facebook pages of a few of the folks that praised LaRock’s antiquated views. There’s some real scary stuff there.


It’s interesting to see these two documents side by side. When I read through Supervisor Umstadtt’s simple and straightforward proclamation, it strikes me that each of its points is both undeniable and unremarkable. It’s difficult to imagine viable arguments in opposition to any of them. For example, what exactly would the argument be that people *shouldn’t* be able to “live without fear of prejudice, discrimination, violence or hatred based on gender identity or sexual orientation,” and who would be able to make that argument without embarrassment?

Mr. LaRock (understandably) doesn’t make any actual arguments addressing the the proclamation itself - instead, he strings together a series of false statements and unsubstantiated claims that reads like a lurid anti-gay propaganda tract circa 1994 (yes, I’ve been studying this category of activist for a long time). The painstakingly insulting language he uses actually, literally, made me laugh out loud. There’s nothing there. The world has moved on and left Mr. LaRock behind. I feel badly for his children.


I’m with Dave. I respect all people regardless of race, sexual orientation, etc. I believe that glorifying any race, sexual orientation, etc. is racism/bigotry that promotes inequality similar to disrespecting diversity. We’re all one people. Comparing Dave LaRock to people who have been openly racist and filled with hate is promoting those behaviors that cloud our past as human beings. He raises a valid point. I’m the parent of three teenage children in Western Loudoun. Each has had at least one friend or acquaintance identify his/herself as gay or lesbian. Many have regretted and some have not. I respect and applaud those who have the opportunity embrace his/her alternative sexual orientation and be accepted and respected. However, I’ve seen some that have been lured in to be worthy of praise or special recognition. I agree with Dave. I don’t agree with the celebration of an alternative lifestyle. I would no sooner agree with celebrating a traditional lifestyle (or any other lifestyle for that matter). Please stop hate, racism and bigotry. We’re all one people.


So Jeanne-T, you are saying people shouldnt be fired for their views on homosexuality?  Does this mean people shouldnt be fited for veing homosexual?  Because the current law in Virginia allows it.


“In a few years bigots like LaRock and Delgaudio will be looked on as shameful hate-mongers”

Obviously, they already are.  But no, in a few years (but I predict sooner), those who share Mr. LaRock’s views will not even be allowed to have jobs, or worse. What Phillip E Thompson, James Parrish, David Weintraub, and those like them are really working toward is the criminalization of opposing views. And if they deny this, then they are lying.


LaRock is an embarrassment to our district.  The time for his brand of hate is over in Virginia,


Many of the arguments I hear Mr. LaRock making are the same arguments that were made against desegregation.  As with racial segregation, the military lead the way in this country.  I can hear my dad who served in a segregated Marine Corps during WW II repeating the comments of racists against him and fellow blacks who were trying to serve their country in Mr. LaRock’s comments and underlying arguments.  For me it is the same intolerance and discrimination just under a different hood. As with racial segregation, the tide of human evolution will prevail.


LaRock is definitely off base, but this is getting out of control.  I am shocked Republicans do not see a trap when it comes before them set by one of the craftiest politicians in this county—Kristen Umstattd.  She always likes to stir the pot and create political havoc because she is incapable of doing anything of substance for her constituents.  Is this really all necessary to the important issues facing the county?  I think not!


In a few years bigots like LaRock and Delgaudio will be looked on as shameful hate-mongers right up there with George Wallace and David Duke.

The young people of today have actually engaged with and know gay people and they aren’t afraid or as hate filled as LaRock’s generation.  Just know this Dave, your descendants will be ashamed of you.  Maybe you’ve indoctrinated your kids into your hateful thinking but I guarantee your are one of the last generations of bigoted know-nothing religious zealots this country will deal with.


“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

bigotry is a lifestyle choice - which da larock & lcrc chairman exploit w/ lack of facts & discriminatory lingo


Well said, Supervisor Umstattd!  Hate, in whatever form, should be called out for what it is.  And Delegate LaRock should be ashamed of himself.  At some point, we all need to be aware that silence in the face of such bigotry is to not only support it, but to encourage more of the same.  I also find it very interesting that this newspaper site, when it received the letter from Delegate LaRock, had the integrity to seek comment.  Unlike Loudoun Now, that simply ran the letter, and made no effort to seek the balance of comment necessary in the face of such outrageous bigotry.


Has Dick Black endorsed yet?  I am sure he will along with Eugene Delgaudio.  The make a great 3 some don’t you think????

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