About Stacie Laughton And The People She Helped

I don't personally know Stacie Laughton, who was elected as N.H.'s first openly-transgender political candidate, winning a race in Nashua for State Representative on November 6th.  She won't be accepting the position in light of some incidents in her past, which I won't go into. 

But I have seen her many public comments and interviews since her election, since she made national — international — news with her win, and from what I see she handled the spotlight well, and with courage.  She sounded like she would be a legislator who would put her time in politics on the way people are treated in and by government, focusing on the budget, education, and social issues.   That's what all of our leaders should do.

Being “first” in anything puts one in a not-always welcome role of having to face up to criticism, often undeserving.  From what I can note from the way Stacie has handled the firestorm of the past three or four days, she will be an even stronger person because of all of it. 

And the fact remains that she has inspired many other transgender and questioning youth, and that is so very important.  That she won, and then handled herself so well, helped the lives of unknown many, and she should take comfort in that.  And thanked for doing so.

I have often said that Governor John Lynch saved lives by his public and proud signing of the Civil Unions bill on May 30, 2007, and then House Bill 436 for gay marriage on June 3, 2009.  Seeing pictures or video or reading a story about a popular governor saying that it's okay to be gay, as many millions of people throughout the nation and the world saw on those days, gave a positive message to anyone who during that time might have been bullied, or faced problems at home, and considered ending it all.

Stacie Laughton won't be a N.H. State Representative when newly elected legislators are sworn in next week.  But she sure did a lot to help people anyway, and that is a credit to any human being.  Many of us hope things will go well for her in this adventure of life.


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  • FrankLloydMike

    but it’s disappointing to see this session, like last, begin with Republicans calling for the removal of a Democrat elected by the people of a district to represent them. We all make mistakes and have things in our past that we regret. Based on what little I’ve heard of this story, it sounds like Stacie Laughton’s legal troubles happened several years ago, and before she entered public service.

    Again, I don’t know the background, but the people of Nashua’s 4th ward elected Stacie Laughton to represent them in Concord. They also elected her as a ward selectman, so it stands to reason that she is at least fairly well-known to her constituents. As with any public servant (or neighbor or fellow human, for that matter), they didn’t know her entire past. But from what they knew, they felt that she would be represent them and their views in the State House.

    As far as I’m concerned, then, she should serve unless there is any legal reason to prevent her from doing so. And it sounds like the Department of Corrections thinks there is not.

    • xteeth

      If you can go out on a limb and believe the UL this morning, Stacie is reconsidering those recommendations given to her that she quit. I think the argument above is telling. Why should we surrender with the examples of O’Brien and his son and B.J. Bettencourt this recent and then there is the Guinta $330,000? Then there was Gene Chandler earlier. Just follow the rules, they have worked for a hundred years so far. I think we need every vote we have and every minority individual that is willing to stand up for themselves.

      • TimothyHorrigan

        I am not a lawyer but I see  a couple of ways out of her legal predicament.

        #1. she could claim that her felony sentence has in fact been  finally discharged pursuant to 607-A:2.  She is under probation and is still paying restitution, but she did serve her time and she is a free woman.

        #2. she was elected to be  a state rep.  This is a constitutional office whose qualifications are stated as follows:

        [Art.] 14. [Representatives, How Elected, Qualifications of.] Every member of the house of representatives shall be chosen by ballot; and, for two years, at least, next preceding his election shall have been an inhabitant of this state; shall be, at the time of his election, an inhabitant of the town, ward, place, or district he may be chosen to represent and shall cease to represent such town, ward, place, or district immediately on his ceasing to be qualified as aforesaid.

        It seems to me that the RSA 607-A language doesn’t apply to Rep.-elect Laughton: the constitutional provision (which says nothing about felonies or sentences) trumps the statute law.  

        Ironically, she might be eligible to be a state rep but ineligible to hold the office she has held for a while without any controversy: Ward 4 Selectman (which is equivalent to a town Moderator.)

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