Virginia state Sen. R. Creigh Deeds (D-Bath, Alleghany, Rockbridge, Nelson, Albemarle counties, Covington, Lexington, Buena Vista, Charlottesville), a longtime legislative ally to the LGBT community, is in critical condition after being stabbed at his home, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch. His son, Gus, is reported dead from a gunshot wound.
Law enforcement officers told the paper earlier this morning that the senator had been hospitalized at the University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville. Authorities told the Times-Dispatch they are still trying to piece together the sequence of events related to the stabbing and the shooting.
Deeds, who defeated Gov.-elect Terry McAuliffe and state Sen. Brian Moran for the Democratic nomination for governor in 2009, but lost in the general election to Gov. Bob McDonnell, has long supported pro-LGBT bills such as employment nondiscrimination and anti-bullying legislation, earning perfect scores of 100 for the past two sessions on the Equality Virginia Advocates legislative scorecard.
He also voted against anti-gay measures such as a bill that would have allowed student groups at public universities to discriminate against prospective members based on their sexual orientation and the so-called ”conscience clause” bill that would allow adoption and foster placement agencies to discriminate against LGBT prospective parents. In 2005 and 2006, he voted to put Marshall-Newman Amendment – which banned recognition of same-sex relationships – on the ballot, though he said he voted against the amendment on Election Day.
UPDATE, Nov. 21, 5:05 p.m.: Deeds’s condition was upgraded from “fair” to “good” Wednesday afternoon after undergoing surgery Tuesday, Nov. 20, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch. An autopsy done by the medical examiner in Roanoke, Va., determined that Austin “Gus” Deeds died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) has directed state health agencies to conduct an investigation in response to reports claiming Austin Deeds had been released from a regional mental health agency and had not undergone psychiatric evaluations because there were no beds available for him, despite being under an emergency custody order, the Times-Dispatch reports. Both the mental health services and police investigations are ongoing.