Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Stacie Laughton Resigns From NH Legislature Seat

Was happy to hear the news that transwoman Stacie Laughton had won a seat in the New Hampshire legislature during the just concluded 2012 election.

But unfortunately the news of Laughton's history making achievement went south as word leaked out about her pre-transition criminal record that included a felony conviction and serving 4.5 months for credit card fraud in 2008.

She's had a clean record since moving to Nashua and New Hampshire law allows convicted felons to vote and run for office after the final discharge of their sentence, which includes probation, imprisonment and parole.  Laughton's case included complications such as a suspended sentence and unpaid restitution, so there was a question about whether she could legally serve in the legislature.. 

With the Democrats just returning to the majority in the New Hampshire House, there was also pressure building on Laughton to resolve this controversy as quickly as possible.

On November 28
Representative-elect Laughton decided to submit her letter of resignation to the New Hampshire Secretary of State's Office. 

"I regret to inform you that I am unable to fill the State Representative seat for Hillsborough County District 31 to which I was recently elected."

The New Hampshire trans community and your brothers and sisters across the country regret that as well, especially since the state of New Hampshire doesn't have legislation covering the human rights of transpeople .  
It would have been nice to have one of our own #girlslikeus helping to make that happen..   

The sad conclusion of the Laughton case also reemphasizes something that is vitally important as we continue to make our trans human rights push, strive to break barriers, and have more transpeople run for and hopefully win public office. 

If you're going to run for public office as a transperson, make certain you don't have any skeletons that will pop out during the campaign or take the time to divulge them yourself.  If you don't, our opponents and haters will definitely be looking for them and if they find them, the haters will not hesitate to use them to not only keep us from winning the office, but attempt to disqualify us or cripple our effectiveness in that office if we win. 

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