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Sunday News Round-Up – Campfield and Floyd Give Me a Mad/Sad Edition

January 29, 2012

Recently, TN state rep Richard Floyd declared he would “stomp” any transgender woman who happened to be around him and his family. This past week, he complained mightily about the reaction he’s getting, and declared,

I never said anything about violence. I said what I would do personally if my family was involved, and I meant every single word of it….Do I regret saying it? No, I don’t regret saying it. Would I do it? Yes I would.

No, you don’t get to threaten to “stomp” a segment of your constituency just for being around, then claim you “never said anything about violence.” You did, on the record, to a reporter. And then you immediately reiterated that you would in fact attempt violence and don’t regret saying so.

I’m also extremely bothered by the silence from other politicians on this matter. I sent a message to leadership folks in *both* parties encouraging them to denounce his statements, which read in part:

It should not be controversial in the least that politicians should expect rebuke when threatening physical violence against our citizens simply for existing. When an elected state Representative declares publicly his plans for violently attacking certain types of Tennessee residents because of his own discomfort with how they are, that should be an obvious target for disapproval, from either side of the aisle… all people deserve to be free of threats of violence from the people who are expected to represent them.

Here’s who hasn’t bothered to respond:

  • House Speaker Beth Harwell, Republican
  • TN Republican Party Chair Chris Devaney
  • TN Democratic Party Chair Chip Forrester
  • House Democratic Leader Craig Fitzhugh
  • House Republican Leader Gerald McCormick

That would be everybody who received the message in the first place.

I see that someone has also put a petition online asking that Floyd resign.

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Meanwhile, state senator and misogynist-in-chief Stacey Campfield (R) claimed that it’s “virtually — impossible to contract AIDS through heterosexual sex” (among other misinformation he spread while speaking on the topic).

Let me be clear: this is absolutely, demonstrably false. In our own state, heterosexual transmission is thought to account for nearly a quarter of AIDS cases, and if you look at women living with HIV/AIDS specifically, it accounts for 65% of cases among white women and 74% of cases among black women. While men having sex with men have been disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS, transmission via men and women having sex is a significant and growing category, one that puts women and especially non-white at risk when we ignore it. Or, as B notes, “Oh, I See. ‘You’ Doesn’t Include Women.”

Campfield has been called on it by local public health and AIDS education folks – people who know HIV/AIDS and know the stats.

In the face of being corrected by experts, Campfield responded: “I didn’t say I was a gay/AIDS historian. I didn’t say I know the facts backwards and forwards I just said what I’ve heard and the facts back me up.”

Well, actually the facts don’t back him up. That’s the whole problem.

Send ‘em a letter:
Campfield’s contact info
Floyd’s contact info

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In other state issues, I’ve been mulling over how to prevent a bill barring telemedicine for abortion from taking effect early, and then how to overturn the already-passed law doing this. See my Blog for Choice Day post for background and why I think this law is a bad idea. Are any of you readers part of medical, nursing, reproductive health, telemedicine, informatics, or other health or technology organizations (either in Tennessee or nationally) that might sign on to a letter framing it as inappropriately stifling technological innovations in healthcare delivery and inappropriately interfering with clinical practice?

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