Delegate Dave LaRock claims on his website that he will “promise that I will provide honest, fair, and conservative leadership, to protect our rights and fight for high-quality services.” I don’t believe he is inclusive when he uses the word “our.” When he says “our,” he means only those who look, speak, and believe what he does.
As a Constitutionalist, he also claims “government should protect our rights and allow us the freedom and opportunity to make our lives better.” He quotes the Declaration of Independence numerous times neglecting to understand that it is not the law of our land, the Constitution is.
Under our Constitution, public schools must address any harassment against LGBT students the same way they would address harassment against any other student. Sadly, LaRock, by his many anti-LGBT statements, asserts that LGBT students don't deserve to be protected. He also believes that our students shouldn't be exposed to teachers who are LGBT. He has the misguided belief that LGBT people in our community are dangers to our health, safety, and well-being.
All across this great country of ours, Americans recognize the value and contribution of those who are different from them. Eighteen states currently have protections against discrimination against sexual orientation or gender identity and four prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation. Moreover, 55% of Americans support allowing marriage for same-sex couples and 89% of Fortune 500 companies in the U.S. have implemented LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination policies.
In 2015, there were 21 violent deaths of transgender people in the US. That same year there were almost 6,000 incidents with over 7,000 victims of hate crimes; 95% were targeted due to race/ethnicity/ancestry, 19.7% because of religion, 17.7% because of sexual orientation, and 1.7% because of gender identity bias. The presence of racism, sexism, homophobia, and transphobia all conspired to deprive those people of their right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The same rights that LaRock state are fundamental rights seem only to apply to him and those who think like him.
His recent editorial in the Loudoun Times Mirror included outright mistruths, distortions, and religious fear mongering against LGBT people as a whole. He makes it clear to all voters that he has a right to deny a particular population of their fundamental rights with no credible evidence to support his erroneous claims.
LaRock quotes the US. Justice Foundation’s argument in Obergefell v. Hodges that the “homosexual lifestyle is dangerous and a social experiment.” He conveniently neglects to add that this landmark case held that the fundamental right to marry is guaranteed to same-sex couples by both the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The Supreme Court and our Constitution do not support his beliefs.
Sadly, my delegate constantly refers to the “Radical Social Agenda.” I am not sure what life experience he has had that brings him to believe that the LGBT community is trying to influence, indoctrinate, or pollute our children’s minds. I don't know when I started to like the opposite sex. I don’t even recall my parents or my religion demanding I had to like the opposite sex. But Todd Glass, an LGBT comedian, makes an excellent point in his book that if you genuinely believe sexuality is a choice, then you’re not straight, you just haven’t met anyone persuasive enough.
I can’t think of any reason that any human being would choose to be challenged, scrutinized, and condemned every day of their lives, which is the daily existence for many in our LGBT community. The human condition is to love, be loved, be accepted, and to be respected. According to the Bible, Psalm 145.3, “God makes no mistakes.” If Dave LaRock were a true believer in the Bible, his heart wouldn’t be filled with such malice toward our fellow human beings that the Bible says we should embrace.
Further, LaRock believes that allowing transgender students and adults to use the bathroom of the sex they identify with will allow men open access to private spaces designed for women and put them at risk for attack. He should tell that to the two little girls assaulted in a bathroom back in November, at a Loudoun restaurant, by a heterosexual man dressed as a man.
When the bathroom issue for transgender students came up in Fairfax, LaRock declared adopting “radical sexual orientation and gender identity policies” would be in defiance of the law. He sued Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring and in his public statements about that opinion used semantics and cherry picked quotes to create a false narrative about the Attorney General’s opinion to further his shameful agenda.
In April of 2014, the US Department of Education stated, “sex discrimination prohibition extends to claims of discrimination based on gender identity or failure to conform to stereotypical notions of masculinity or femininity.” It seems that LGBT anti-discrimination policies are in fact sound and good policy.
North Carolina learned the hard way what bigotry could do to the business climate in their state when they passed a harsh anti-LGBT law last year. It makes sense that Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe would sign an Executive Order that provides protections to those working under public contracts, as well as assurance that discrimination will not subvert business opportunities in our Commonwealth.
More shocking was LaRock's statement in another publication in which he rationalizes against any LGBT protections in hiring school staff because “Loudoun County policies already allow administrators to differentiate/discriminate between good and bad behaviors when choosing who will make the best employees.” His ignorance of employment discrimination is distressing since he is a lawmaker and proves the argument for and why we should seek to prevent employment discrimination based on sexual orientation.
I was raised in an inclusive environment and was not taught that a person’s gender identity or sexual orientation degraded their moral worth. I grew up observing that my Uncle Mark and partner Tom loved each other. We were exposed to many types of non-traditional relationships and yet my brothers and I all have heterosexual marriages and multiple children. From what I can tell, none of us experienced the “negative psychological effects” from the LGBT community that LaRock firmly believes will occur and repeats without evidentiary support.
Let us not forget that Jim Crow laws were created out of fear when blacks began to interact more equally with white people after the Civil War. Many white people feared interracial marriages would destroy America. Laws were created to keep “uncontrollable and predatory” black men from white women. The odious rhetoric that Delegate Dave LaRock is promoting today is the same used to support Jim Crow laws. It was wrong then and wrong today.
The people of this beautiful country and the future will prove that LaRock is wrong too.