New Hampshire’s first elected transgender politician has been charged with stalking — and this isn’t his first brush with the law, either.
In fact, one of his Democratic peers in the state House of Representatives said that he’s “gotten into a lot of trouble over the years” and “keeps getting into trouble.” Not that he was making an argument for him to be kicked out of office or that he shouldn’t have been elected in the first place.
Instead, state Rep. Timothy Horrigan insisted the trans lawmaker, state Rep. Stacie Laughton, is “basically a good person” and “not violent or abusive, or harmful to anyone” but himself.
According to Reduxx, Laughton — born Barry Charles Laughton Jr. — was arrested on Nov. 12, just four days after he was re-elected.
New Hampshire’s first openly transgender elected official has been arrested on charges of stalking a woman.
Stacie Laughton was re-elected to the state’s House of Representatives on November 8 despite having a lengthy criminal history.https://t.co/mo33zz4xRC
— REDUXX (@ReduxxMag) November 21, 2022
The charge involved “his most recent violation of a stalking order that had been placed against him by an unidentified woman in his community in July,” Reduxx reported. “Laughton, 38, had contacted the victim over social media.”
And yes, you read that correctly: “most recent.” In August, Laughton also tried to make contact with the woman who took out the restraining order. He was arrested in September and released shortly thereafter.
However, the restraining order and the arrest received no coverage at the time, so voters re-elected the libertarian Democrat to represent Nashua’s 4th Ward.
To be fair to the voters in Nashua, getting into the state House isn’t particularly difficult in New Hampshire; it’s the largest state-level body in the land, with over 400 members, and the top three candidates in the 4th Ward all won seats. That said, it’s not as if voters hadn’t been given fair warning about Laughton’s character, either.
In 2012, he became the first trans person elected to office in the Granite State but withdrew before he was sworn in because it was revealed he’d served a four-month prison term for identity and credit card fraud.
He tried to run in a special election to fill the seat, but state officials ruled him ineligible, as he was still serving a suspended sentence. He tried to run again two years later but was again ruled ineligible until the suspended sentence was over.
In 2015, he was arrested for making a bomb threat to the Southern New Hampshire Medical Center; he confessed but blamed it on a mental health episode.
And then, in 2019, he was elected. In 2021, he was again arrested for sending texts to Nashua’s 911 system despite the fact there was no emergency. Laughton claims his number was being “spoofed” and that he didn’t actually send the texts; he’s currently out on bail for that charge.
According to the New Hampshire Journal, state Republicans have accused Democrats of staying silent on Laughton’s criminal history, both past and present, because the midterms “brought better-than-expected results for Democrats, and they have an outside chance of winning control of the state House.”
However, one Democrat was certainly willing to stick his neck out for Laughton: Timothy Horrigan.
“[For what it’s worth], Rep.Laughton is a lifelong Granite Stater,” Horrigan said in a Twitter thread, using female pronouns to refer to Laughton.
“She’s gotten into a lot of trouble over the years & she keeps getting into trouble, but she’s basically a good person. She’s not violent or abusive, or harmful to anyone other than herself.”
FWIW, Rep.Laughton is a lifelong Granite Stater.
She’s gotten into a lot of trouble over the years & she keeps getting into trouble, but she’s basically a good person. She’s not violent or abusive, or harmful to anyone other than herself.
— Timothy Horrigan (@TimothyHorrigan) November 15, 2022
Not only is this a terrible excuse, it’s also wrong — I mean, unless you’re willing to ignore the woman who has a protection order against Laughton and the Southern New Hampshire Medical Center.
But let’s say you were willing to ignore them. This is still a terrible argument, and one I suspect Horrigan wouldn’t be making if Laughton didn’t identify as transgender.
Other Democrats are likely staying silent because highlighting Laughton’s long history of criminal activity that bespeaks mental illness may potentially raise the specter that transgenderism is also linked to mental illness.
And we can’t have that, can we?
What a fitting object lesson in the priorities of modern Democrats. Sure, stalking, bomb threats, identity theft and fake 911 texts are bad things for a lawmaker to be accused of, but casting aspersions on the legitimacy of a trans person’s chosen gender is even worse — and if you’re gonna choose between the two, tolerate the criminality.
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