As poverty rates for nearly all populations increased during the recession, lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) Americans remained more likely to be poor than heterosexual people, reports a new study from the Williams Institute: “Gender, race, education and geography all influence poverty rates among LGB populations, and children of same-sex couples are particularly vulnerable to poverty.
“Key findings include:
• In the American Community Survey, 7.6% of lesbian couples, compared to 5.7% of married different-sex couples, are in poverty.
• African American same-sex couples have poverty rates more than twice the rate of different-sex married African Americans.
• One third of lesbian couples and 20.1 % of gay male couples without a high school diploma are in poverty, compared to 18.8% of different-sex married couples.
• Lesbian couples who live in rural areas are much more likely to be poor (14.1%), compared to 4.5% of coupled lesbians in large cities. 10.2% of men in same-sex couples, who live in small metropolitan areas, are poor, compared with only 3.3% of coupled gay men in large metropolitan areas.
• Almost one in four children living with a male same-sex couple and 19.2% of children living with a female same-sex couple are in poverty, compared to 12.1% of children living with married different-sex couples. African American children in gay male households have the highest poverty rate (52.3%) of any children in any household type.
• 14.1% of lesbian couples and 7.7% of gay male couples receive food stamps, compared to 6.5% of different-sex married couples. Also, 2.2% of women in same-sex couples receive government cash assistance, compared to .8% of women in different sex couples; 1.2% of men in same-sex couples, compared to .6% of men in different-sex couples, receive cash assistance. Continue reading “Economics of same-sex couples”
A study published this week uncovered that heterosexual men had higher levels of depression than gay and bisexual men.
The authors gave several hypotheses to explain the finding that straight men have higher stress than out gay men, reports today’s Slate Magazine. “Some were limitations to the study. The sample size of 87 was relatively small, and the respondents were drawn via online ads and word of mouth, likely producing a selection bias—gay folks who are most at peace with their sexuality might be more willing to participate than those still struggling. Other hypotheses related to the character-building component of surviving and rejecting years of shame and stigma. Perhaps this struggle produces coping skills that straight men never need to learn. Continue reading “The straight male mind”
Free-speech moved a little closer to extinction in Russia today, as legislators voted overwhelmingly
in favor of a measure criminalizing “homosexual propaganda. Meanwhile, protesters opposing the law are being arrested.
Russian police have detained 20 gay rights campaigners and militant Orthodox Christian activists near parliament as politicians overwhelmingly backed a the proposed law. ” “Russia’s State Duma, the lower house of parliament, voted 388-1-1 for the law that makes public events and the dissemination of information on the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, or LGBT, community to minors punishable by fines of up to $16,000 (£10,000),” reports The Guardian. “After two more readings, the bill will have to be signed by President Vladimir Putin.
“Earlier on Friday three dozen LGBT rights campaigners had gathered near the State Duma to protest against the law when militant Orthodox activists started assaulting and pelting them with eggs. Police intervened, but mostly detained the LGBT campaigners. At a similar rally on Tuesday Orthodox activists violently assaulted LGBT campaigners, who had gathered to kiss each other in protest against the planned legislation. Continue reading “Free speech failing in Russia”
Biblical scholars have for some time noted that the good book doesn’t itself equate homosexuality with sin. Subsequent proselytizers have done that work.
Now it seems that even within stalwart anti-LGBT Christian groups, opinion seems to be shifting. As Huff Post reports today,
“Bad news for the Westboro Baptist Church and other right-wing groups: the percentage of Americans who sincerely believe that homosexuality is a sin has decreased significantly, a new poll has found.
“The Nashville-based LifeWay Research organization revealed that just 37 percent of Americans surveyed in November said they believed homosexual behavior was a sin, a seven point drop from the previous year’s survey. Interestingly, respondents who did not believe homosexuality was a sin increased by a mere two percent, while a greater number of those surveyed said they were now unsure of what they believe. Continue reading “Conservative Christian opinion shifting”
An American church is promising gay men they will be cured of their homosexuality if they stroke horses, reports a story today in GayStarNews.
“The Cowboy Church of Virginia, led by chief pastor Raymond Bell, believes homosexuality and other ‘addictions’ can be cured by Equine Assisted Psychotherapy.
“Horse therapy, in the right hands, can be used to help overcome fears, develop communication skills, and is generally beneficial to mental health.
But Bell says the horses in his church, a cowboy ranch in the south, are part of teaching men to stop being gay and encourage them to be more masculine.‘EAP can help any person who is living the homosexual lifestyle or involved in it in anyway,’ he told Gay Star News.‘The first common misconception is that homosexuality is genetic, or hereditary, or as some say “born this way”. Continue reading “Horse sense”
Could watching porn make straight men support marriage equality?
A story circulating in blogs today tells of sociologist Mark Regnerus’ latest assertion that porn watching confuses the straight mind about marriage and results in higher levels of support for greater diversity.
Regnerus got some attention earlier this year when he published a now widely discredited study that supposedly found children of gay parents are worse off than those of straight parents. As Huffington Post reports, “In his piece Regnerus states that porn ‘undermines the concept that in the act of sexual intercourse, we share our ‘body and whole self … permanently and exclusively’ and “reinforces the idea that people can share their bodies but not their inmost selves, and that they can do so temporarily and (definitely) not exclusively without harm.’ Continue reading “Straight porn and gay marriage”
“The church is called to present itself as the lone critic of modernity,” states a front-page article in yesterday’s Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, as the Catholic Church reiterated its opposition to same-sex unions. Insisting that homosexual relationships are “intrinsically disordered,” in a later radio interview the pope’s spokesman asked sarcastically why gay marriage proponents don’t now push for legal recognition for polygamous couples as well.
The Huffington Post reports that “The Vatican’s anti-gay marriage media blitz came after three U.S. states approved same-sex marriage by popular vote in the election that returned Barack Obama to the U.S. presidency, Spain upheld its gay marriage law, and France pushed ahead with legislation that could see gay marriage legalized early next year.” For full story see, “Vatican Digs in After Gay Marriage Advances” by Nichole Winfield. Continue reading “Vatican doubles down on marriage”