National Black Justice Coalition, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and National Coalition for LGBT Health celebrate LGBT Health Awareness Week
The National Black Justice Coalition, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the National Coalition for LGBT Health ask our members and supporters across the country to join in celebrating the Ninth Annual National LGBT Health Awareness Week from March 28 – April 1, 2011. LGBT Health Awareness Week aims to bring attention to the devastating cycle of discrimination and health disparities that affects the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. Because LGBT people are regularly discriminated against in employment, relationship recognition and insurance coverage, they are more likely to get sick and less likely to be able to afford vital health care than their straight and non-transgender neighbors.
LGBT people and their families also experience high rates of anti-LGBT violence, the stress of coping with discrimination and a widespread lack of LGBT cultural competency in the health care system. This year’s LGBT Health Awareness Week theme, “Come Out for Health,” encourages LGBT people, health care providers and policymakers to work together to eliminate the health disparities affecting the LGBT community and to promote better health and well-being for all LGBT people and their families. A major factor that contributes to LGBT health disparities is the fact that LGBT people are roughly twice as likely to be uninsured than the general population. According to a recent report, 22 percent of gay and lesbian respondents reported having no insurance, compared to only 12 percent of heterosexual adults, and rates of lack of insurance are even higher for bisexual and transgender people.
Read more about LGBT health issues here.
More information about National LGBT Health Awareness Week can be found at www.lgbthealth.net.
President Obama Announces International Commitment to End LGBT Violence
President Obama, along with President Rouseff of Brazil, took a moment during his tour of Latin America to announce the creation of an international commission to monitor and report on LGBT issues. The commission will fall under the direction of the Organization of American States which includes representatives from across North and South America. At the same time, some 85 countries committed to addressing the issue of LGBT violence and human rights abuses in their own borders.
Gay Leadership Grows at NAACP – Advocate.com
Under the leadership of former Chairman Julian Bond and current NAACP President Ben Jealous, the NAACP has been reaching out and aggressively recruiting gay leadership, immigrants and young people. The results have been an increase in membership from a low of 300,000 to 525,000. People under the age of 25 are the fastest-growing membership group. As the NAACP broadens its anti-discrimination agenda, it is reaching back to its roots when it was founded as a coalition of blacks and whites.
Sharpton Presents Simmons with GLAAD Award – Advocate.com
The Reverend Al Sharpton presented the GLAAD Excellence in Media Award to mogul Russell Simmons on Saturday, March 19. Rev. Sharpton has been at the forefront of LGBT rights for many years, including being a keynote speaker at NBJC's Black Church Summit. Russell Simmons credits Rev. Sharpton with being his mentor and commended Rev. Sharpton for his gay rights advocacy. Rev. Sharpton praised Simmons for helping artists see LGBT rights as human rights. NBJC salutes both men as leaders and role models in our continuing civil rights struggles.
Why do African-American homophobes ignore Bayard Rustin? – Pam's House Blend
Alvin McEwen points out that African-American homophobes, who criticize the use of comparing the Civil Rights Movement with the pursuit of gay rights, consistently leave American icon and great civil rights leader Bayard Rustin out of discussion. "Why is that?," McEwen poignantly asks. "Someone please tell me the difference between disrespecting someone based on racial prejudice and doing the same thing based on homophobia. Is the feeling of being treated less than a man or a woman any different when it's done to you based on sexual orientation rather than race?" That is the question. What is the answer?
The Root Interview: Openly Gay Imam Muhsin Hendricks – The Root
Muhsin Hendricks is an openly gay imam from South Africa. He feels that Islam and homosexuality can co-exist. It is not an easy task to preach this, and his own experience shows how difficult it can be to gain acceptance and interpret the Koran in a new light.
'Bishop' Eddie Long's church attendance is down; brings layoffs, pay cuts – Pam's House Blend
Pam's Houseblend brings to our attention the continuing saga of scandal at the New Birth Church led by Bishop Eddie Long. It appears that there is a financial situation that involves the disappearance of one million dollars. The church has had to administer pay cuts and layoffs. Attendance is down as Bishop Long continues to deny that there was any sexual impropriety on his part with four young men.
US to Demand Gay Rights Support at UN Body – AOLNews.com
LGBT rights for all of the world's citizens has been a difficult fight at the United Nations. The Bush Administration did not support resolutions for LGBT rights at the UN, whereas, the Obama Administration is reversing that stance and will introduce its first statement to the UN calling for the United Nation's top human rights body to combat discrimination against gays and lesbians around the world. NBJC supports the Obama Administration in its efforts to support basic human rights to LGBT people globally. The next story demonstrates why UN resolutions for LGBT rights are important.
Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Bill Slated for Debate – Box Turtle Bulletin
Uganda's draconian anti-homosexuality bill is going to be debated and the Ugandan Parliament may pass it despite international concern. There will be public hearings and then the bill will be brought up to a vote during their lame duck session, which began on March 22. NBJC decries this bill which is also known as the "kill-the-gays" bill.
Going Legal and Getting More Business – Washington Post
It was predicted that marriage equality in Washington, DC would bring a financial boom to the city. The predictions were right as businesses that support the wedding industry are seeing a noticeable uptick in revenue, so much so that it is being called a "windfall," and gay and lesbian couples are the reason. NBJC reiterates that marriage equality is not only good for business, it is good for the heart of the community.
Respecting all marriages – L.A. Times
More good news regarding marriage equality…there is a bill in Congress to repeal DOMA, the federal Defense of Marriage Act. The bill is called the Respect for Marriage Act and is sponsored by Senator Diane Feinstein (D-California) among others. This bill will allow gay and lesbian couples to receive federal benefits if their states allow marriage. It will be an uphill climb for the bill to pass, but public sentiment is trending towards marriage equality across the nation.
Slim Majority Backs Gay Marriage Post-ABC Poll Says – Washington Post
And speaking of support for marriage equality, a new Post-ABC poll shows that for the first time in US history, 53 percent of Americans now support marriage equality for gay men and lesbians. Because of LGBT couples visibility and hard work on the part of LGBT leaders and grassroots organizing, more and more Americans are seeing that marriage equality is about love, dedication, and commitment.
MD Senate Leader: No Marriage Guarantee Next Year – Advocate.com
On a more somber note, Maryland Senate President Thomas V. Miller has said that there is no guarantee that a marriage equality bill for the residents of Maryland will pass next year. The bill was shelved in the House recently. Miller also predicted that a marriage equality bill would be defeated if it came to a vote on a ballot in 2012.
Study Undercuts View of College as a Place of Same-Sex Experimentation – New York Times
Older Republican politicos are having to contend with younger Republican operatives who are pro-LGBT rights. This is a new phenomena that shows a generational divide between old school Republicans, for which anti-LGBT attitudes are deemed necessary, and the new school of young Republicans, who see no future in the GOP being aggressively homophobic. It is clear that the Republican Party is at a crossroads.
Lisa Ling's "Ex-Gay" Puff Piece – Advocate.com
Lisa Ling, reporting for Oprah Winfrey's OWN Network, has been under fire for a special she produced called "Pray the Gay Away?". Wayne Besen of "Truth Wins Out" feels Lisa Ling did more harm than good with her "puff piece" as he calls it. Besen feels Ling did what too many other reporters do by "minimizing the experiences of the "ex-gay" industry's victims and provide kindhearted depictions of the cruel and fraudulent victimizers". What do you think?
Exodus All-but-Admits Lying to Oprah Winfrey Network – Truth Wins Out
In a follow-up story to the Lisa Ling "puff piece," Truth Wins Out asserts that Exodus–the country's major "ex-gay" organization–"all but lied" to the Oprah Winfrey Network as Alan Chambers, the President of Exodus International, had to backtrack on his statements to Lisa Ling.