News, The Reach

The Reach: June 15-21, 2023

It Really Isn’t Just Me

A recent survey of just over 1,000 LGBTQ+ American adults, conducted just last month, shows that queer people are really feeling the hate right now.

Survey results showed that eight percent of Trans and six percent of Black Americans have already fled their homes in response to hate legislation in their state, as have nine percent of all LGBTQ+ respondents over the age of 65 and eight percent of those aged 18-24.

A full 25% of all LGBTQ+ adults surveyed believe the country has become much less safe for the LGBTQ+ community, with another 22% saying they felt somewhat less safe.

Of Democratic respondents within the poll (yes, there are queer conservatives) 79 percent said the Democratic Party should be doing more to protect the LGBTQ+ community.

This is a Reminder

This is a reminder that LGBTQ+ people rely on votes from their straight allies in order to retain our legal protections (it’s math).

This is a reminder that, just months ago here in Virginia, a host of anti-LGBTQ+ bills mirroring the same ones causing people to flee in fear were introduced by Republicans in the legislature.

This is a reminder that Virginia is one Senate seat away from a GOP supermajority that would, in swift order, result in Virginia becoming as dangerous a place for queer people as Florida.

This is a reminder that a primary is currently underway, ends this Tuesday, June 20, and includes Little City residents choosing new representation in the Virginia Senate.

This is a reminder that one Senate candidate on the ballot to represent us, “incumbent” Sen. Chap Petersen (D-Fairfax), has been deliberately silent on LGBTQ+ issues… at least as far as this writer can tell, his last public comments on his personal beliefs were when he said he did not personally believe in gay marriage, still believed it was a sin, and even said he didn’t believe in Civil Unions.

This is a reminder that if somebody believes being gay is a sin, it means they think we’re faking it (or should be expected to just enter into miserable heterosexual marriages out of fear for our lives?). There really isn’t any other logical alternative; if you believe that, you fundamentally think we’re some sort of “wicked.”

This is a reminder that Petersen refuses to say if his beliefs have changed since voting for HB751 in 2004, which referenced a now-reversed Supreme Court finding that “A husband without a wife, or a wife without a husband, is unknown to the law,” and said that 2003 rulings overturning anti-sodomy laws and legalizing gay marriage in Massachussetts “failed to consider the beneficial health effects of heterosexual marriage, as contrasted to the life-shortening and health compromising consequences of homosexual behavior, and this to the detriment of all citizens regardless of their sexual orientation or inclination.”

This is a reminder that Petersen has made substantial donations to the campaigns or nonprofits of every elected Democrat voicing their support for him, while the rest of the party remains silent. For details, has all the receipts.

This is a reminder that silence is dangerous when others are loud.

This is a Warning

This is a warning that Petersen had no problem finding words in opposition to LGBTQ+ rights when the Republicans were in charge.

This is a warning that Petersen did, in fact, vote his personal homophobic beliefs into actual Virginia law, which caused actual harm to actual LGBTQ+ people.

This is a warning that Petersen pushes for religious exemptions for laws in almost all scenarios.

This is a warning that Petersen, after voting to retain a law allowing the legal marrying of pregnant girls age 15 and under, said “Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but if someone gets pregnant and they want to be married when the child is born, not being able to do that of their own volition…. was a bit overly aggressive.”

This is a warning that a pregnancy under age 15 is evidence of statutory rape, and that rewarding their abusers with marriage instead of charging them with a crime is often, for the girl, a lifelong prison sentence.

This is a warning that Petersen’s church led fourteen others to leave the denomination for an unofficial Nigerian Anglican Church whose leader believed homosexuals should be jailed. The same church that led the attemp to legally usurp Falls Church Episcopal on behalf of homophobic defectors, all in response to the Episcopal Church’s decision to consecrate bishop Gene Robinson, a gay man.