Tag Archives: loss

Beau Biden, Son of Vice President Joe Biden, Dies Of Brain Cancer At Age 46

Joe Biden and Beau Biden

 

Joseph “Beau” Biden III, son of Vice President Joe Biden, died Saturday at age 46  after battling brain cancer, according to the vice president’s office.

“Beau Biden was, quite simply, the finest man any of us have ever known,” his father wrote in a statement.

In 2013, Beau Biden was treated at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston after he became disoriented and weak while on vacation. He was diagnosed with brain cancer, and after undergoing surgery was given a clean bill of health.

The cancer returned this spring and Biden pursued aggressive treatment at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, the vice president’s office said. He died Saturday evening, surrounded by his extended family.

Beau Biden is the second of Joe Biden’s children to precede their father in death; the vice president’s 1-year-old daughter Naomi was killed in a Christmastime car accident in 1972. The crash also took the life of Joe Biden’s first wife, Neilia, who was Beau’s mother.

After serving as a prosecutor in the U.S. attorney’s office in Philadelphia for nine years, and briefly working in private practice, Beau Biden won his first election for attorney general in 2006 by 13,000 votes. When he was re-elected in 2010, Beau Biden increased his winning margin to 149,000 votes over his Republican competitor.

During his time in office, Biden took aggressive tactics to tamp down on child sex crimes perpetrators, netting 180 convictions. He also went after banks and mortgage lenders for their roles in perpetrating crooked loans.

A captain in the Delaware Army National Guard, Beau Biden was deployed to Iraq for a year in 2008, serving in an administrative post with the 261st Signal Brigade.

Beau Biden, like his father was dedicated to fight for  LGBT Equality.

In April 2013, Beau Biden joined Delaware Governor Jack Markell in supporting marriage equality legislation, and the governor signed it into law in May.

A month later, he urged state lawmakers to pass legislation that would establish legal protections based on gender identity.

“I support providing protections from violence and discrimination based on gender identity and expression under Delaware law,” Biden said in a video released by Equality Delaware.

On Saturday, Vice President Biden said in his statement, “More than his professional accomplishments, Beau measured himself as a husband, father, son and brother. His absolute honor made him a role model for our family. Beau embodied my father’s saying that a parent knows success when his child turns out better than he did.”

President Barack Obama, writing in a statement, quoted Irish poet William Butler Yeats — a favorite of the vice president’s — in honoring Beau Biden’s life.

Yeats wrote, “I have believed the best of every man. And find that to believe it is enough to make a bad man show him at his best or even a good man swing his lantern higher.”

“Beau Biden believed the best of us all,” Obama said. “For him, and for his family, we swing our lanterns higher.”

Back2stonewall’s sincerest condolences go out to the Biden family in this their hour of loss.

Prominent AIDS Activist and Journalist Brad Crelia Passes Away At 29

Brad Crelia

 

Prominent AIDS activist and co-founder of Hivster.com  Brad Crelia  passed on away November 19, 2014 after a long battle with porphyria and other HIV related health issues. Brad was 29 years old.

Poz.com:

Six months after learning he was HIV positive, Crelia launched Hivster.com in 2010. The website ceased operations earlier this year, but their Facebook page continued.

Hivster.com describes itself on Facebook as “an online magazine for forward-thinking, hip/alternative men and women who are sex-positive, gritty, boundary pushing and politically progressive.” A print magazine was planned.

Crelia also worked with the Spokane AIDS Network and served on the board of the Odyssey Youth Center. He was active in politics, most recently working as a policy advisor for the Spokane City Council marijuana policy committee.

In recognition of his work as a journalist and activist, Crelia was a 2014 POZ 100 honoree.

I write this with a heavy heart.  I knew Brad.  he was a wonderful human being and dedicated activist not just for HIV related causes but for all LGBT equality causes.  Brads passing is a tragic loss.  After living through the plague years and all of the friends that I have lost this has never gotten easier.  In fact today it is harder.

In a 2011 interview with Dan Savage  Brad was asked:  If you could hammer one idea or concept into the heads of all gay men everywhere, what would it be?

Bard’s  answer reflected his life:  “Easy, keep on living life. Art, music, pop culture, literature are for HIV positive and negative people alike. ”

A great man. A great loss.

He will be missed.

GOP Surrenders! – House Republicans Finally Give Up On Same Sex Marriage Fight

GOP Surrenders

House GOP leaders have announced that they will no longer defend the remaining statutes similar to the Defense of Marriage Act that ban recognition of same-sex couples’ marriages.

In a court filing today they wrote:

The Supreme Court recently resolved the issue of DOMA Section 3’s constitutionality. See United States v. Windsor, 570 U.S. __ (2013), 2013 WL 3196928 (U.S. June 26, 2013). The Windsor decision necessarily resolves the issue of DOMA Section 3’s constitutionality in this case. While the question of whether 38 U.S.C. § 101(3), (31) is constitutional remains open, the House has determined, in light of the Supreme Court’s opinion in Windsor, that it no longer will defend that statute. Accordingly, the House now seeks leave to withdraw as a party defendant.

Upon hearing of the the Republican party decision Democrat House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi,  pushed for additional, immediate action.

“The Supreme Court’s ruling is clear. Rather than trying to delay justice for particular married gay and lesbian couples and their families, Speaker Boehner should immediately file motions to end House Republicans’ involvement in the remaining cases and stop spending taxpayer dollars to defend unconstitutional discrimination.

Expect FRC, AFA, Liberty Counsel and NOM’s harpy screeching press releases in three….. two…… one……

ITS OVER! – Alan West Recount FAILS, Dem Patrick Murphy Declares Victory In FL

Tea Party wingnuts went insane this afternoon thinking that Florida’s St. Lucie County in FL failed to finish their court-ordered recount by today’s noon deadline, prompting Patrick Murphy’s campaign to claim final victory over Rep. Allen West.

Crazed GOP West supporters stormed into the St. Lucie election office screaming, “Count our votes!”  While West’s lawyers  raced to a judge’s office to demand an injunction against the state deadline all for nothing as St. Lucie election officials are saying that the deadline was met and that Patrick Murphy actually gained votes in the recount.

Under Florida law, the final certified results were due from all of the state’s 67 supervisors of elections today. If the results do not arrive on time, the certified unofficial results submitted last Sunday stand. Those results have Murphy winning by 0.58 percent. A spread of less than 0.5 percent would have triggered an automatic recount.  “Today at noon, it became clear Patrick Murphy will be officially certified as the next congressman from the 18th Congressional District,” Anthony Kusich, Murphy for Congressman campaign manager, said in a prepared statement issued around 12:40 p.m. “The voters have spoken and Patrick Murphy is once again the clear winner. It is beyond time to put this campaign behind us and put the interests of the people of the Treasure Coast and Palm Beaches first.”

Murphy campaign senior advisor Eric Johnson was quick to reaffirm victory. “As far as we’re concerned, this puts an end to it,” Johnson said. “The West people demanded a recount. They got that retabulation and Patrick Murphy gained a margin of 242 votes. “This election is over,” Johnson added. Mowery said the final count was 65,841 votes for Murphy and 52,704 for West.

This may signal the end for Alan West.  But Florida is still and will remain to be the laughingstock of the country when it comes to voting regulations and voters rights.

And Now The Bad News… Voters in Two Kansas Cities Repeal LGBT Anti-Discrimination Laws

Toto, I don’t think we are in Kansas anymore or if we ever actually want to go to it again.

Voters in two Kansas cities, Salina and Hutchinson, repealed gay-inclusive anti-discrimination laws that had been adopted this year by the cities’ governing bodies during Tuesdays elections.

The Salina ordinance was repealed by a vote of 54% to 46%, while the Hutchinson law was voted down by a margin of 58% to 42%.  That leaves Lawrence, Kansas as the ONLY city in the state that has an LGBT-inclusive anti-discrimination law on the books and has since the mid 1990’s.

“It’s clear we have a lot more educating to do,” Jon Powell, chairman of the Hutchinson chapter of the Kansas Equality Coalition, an LGBT rights group said in a statement after Tuesdays election.

Local Church and hate groups arguments against the laws included denial that such discrimination exists and assertions that “sexual behavior” is a choice and not a reason for anti-discrimination protections.  An argument that is always lost on me since discrimination against religion is against the law and being religious is most certainly a choice.

Minnesota 18 Year Old Commits Suicide After Years Of Anti-Gay Harassment And Bullying – Senator Al Franken Responds

Another tragedy has occurred.  Another young gay life has been lost.

18 year old  Lance Lundsten of Miltona, Minnesota took his life over the weekend after suffering extreme bullying and harassment at the hands of others for years. Lance had revealed on Facebook that he was openly gay, and some students at his high school said he was constantly bullied for his sexual orientation. students who knew Lundsten believed the bullying may have led to his suicide.

Senator Al Franken sent his condolences Monday and said he hopes a new bill could change how lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) students are treated.

“My heart goes out to Lance’s family, and friends and loved ones. It’s a tragic event, not only for them, but for the school, and the Alexandria community and really for all of us.  LGBT kids really do need (more) protection, They’re two or three times more likely than straight kids to get bullied. Nine in ten LGBT students said they’ve been bullied or harassed and almost two-thirds say they don’t feel safe in school.”

“On Martin Luther King Day … we want to celebrate the American values that have broken down barriers that prevent all citizens from having … the same opportunities to succeed … This is another barrier that still needs to be broken. We need to have more acceptance of LGBT students.” “We need to create in our schools, an atmosphere where bullying isn’t really accepted in anyone.”

Jefferson High School’s Student/Parent Handbook’s harassment policies of the school that Lance attended, prohibit verbal assaults toward a staff member or student which degrades people because of their “race, sex, religion, ethnic background, physical or mental handicaps,” along with harassment and violence in regards to sex, race or religion.  Sexual orientation is not a part of its policies.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Lances family and friends and may Lance finally find peace and rest.

19 Year Old Lesbian Aiyisha Hassan Commits Suicide – This Has Got To End!

19 Year old lesbian Aiyisha Hassan, A former Howard University student died from suicide on Tuesday, Oct. 5, in her home state of California.

Lauren Morris, 21, a senior at Howard, who lived in the same building as Hassan from 2008-2009, ”She was having a lot of trouble with a lot of different things,” Morris says, ”but mainly her sexual identity and just trying to express that.”

Amari Ice, 22, president of C.A.S.C.A.D.E., the Coalition of Activist Students Celebrating the Acceptance of Diversity and Equality, Howard University’s LGBT student group, said Lauren was a lesbian who attended C.A.S.C.A.D.E. meetings regularly.

Sterling Washington, co-founder of C.A.S.C.A.D.E. and former president, came upon news of Hassan’s suicide after attending a C.A.S.C.A.D.E. event at the university this week.  ”What happens in a large group trickles down to the junior members… so in this case it’s members of society so it affects youth in general,” he said. ”Those straight-identified youth who already had a proclivity, who already had from their parents, their socialization, this idea that gays are less than, it sort of gives them permission and facilities this whole bullying thing so that those that are most vulnerable to it sometimes see suicide as an out.”

A vigil was held Thursday to mourn Aiyisha passing  at Howard University last Thursday night.

That makes 7 LGBT suicides that we know of this past month.  And that’s 7 too many.

12 Year Old Holly Stuckey Dies In Her Fathers Arms After Kids Torment Her With Anti-Gay and Lesbian Bullying

12 year old Holly Stuckey of northwest of Wales, died suddenly in her father’s arms after collapsing from a still unexplained medical trauma. Prior to her death, her father Clive found notes Holly wrote about being tormented at school by classmates, whom claimed she was a lesbian.

A note written in pink biro read: ‘I hate you for what you have done to me. I feel like no one.’ Mr Stuckey has since given the names of 13 teenagers to police who are investigating his daughter’s death for the coroner. Holly, who was an only child, was described as innocent, quiet and timid by her grieving family. Her father said: ‘People made fun of her because she did not know much about sex education. ‘She was an innocent girl but kids turned on her and started to call her a lesbian because she didn’t know as much as them.  Holly, who lived in Maesteg, Wales was an asthmatic but the problem was under control and not thought to be related. Mr Stuckey, who lives in Maesteg with his 47-year-old wife Lee, said: ‘We just don’t know but it could have been the emotional strain of what she was going through which brought on a heart attack. ’I have been contacted by several other parents who have told me that their children are being bullied. ’I want other parents to stand up for their children. I want to protect them.’

It’s not know what caused Holly’s sudden death, and might never be, but unquestionably the torment she suffered through wasn’t improving her quality of life and perhapos the stress was too much.

It’s so sad and tragic that so sad that the last days on earth for this child, and all the others we have lost were filled with fear and torment.