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”
“The latest decision by the Boy Scouts of America, proposing to end its ban on gay scouts but not its ban on gay and lesbian scoutmasters and den mothers, is at once ridiculous and blatantly anti-gay,” writes Michaelangelo Signorile in today’s Huffington Post, continuing as excerpted below
“Sorry, but there’s just no middle ground on bigotry. The idea that you can end discrimination against some — and actually admit that it is discrimination — but not against others is truly breathless in its illogic. The BSA actually says in its new proposal that “no youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone,” but that the organization “will maintain the current membership policy for all adult leaders.”
“So a boy can come out as gay, be a great scout and be accepted by the organization but not even think about being a scoutmaster as an adult? And how can a boy who comes out as gay, or is simply known to be gay because of his other associations and friendships, feel that he is not stigmatized by the BSA when the organization is still discriminating against gay adults? Continue reading “Signorile on the Scouts”
Ellen DeGeneres weighed in on Prop 8, California’s voter-approved ban on same-sex message, penning a tongue-in-cheek “Supreme Court brief” on her blog, reports Huffington Post.
“The award-winning talk show host and comedian followed in the footsteps of Clint Eastwood, who joined more than 100 established conservatives in signing a legitimate Supreme Court-bound brief in favor of allowing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) couples the right to legally wed in California.
“Though DeGeneres’ entertaining piece won’t carry the same legal weight as Eastwood’s brief potentially could, it’s nonetheless poignant. She writes:
“Portia and I have been married for 4 years and they have been the happiest of my life. And in those 4 years, I don’t think we hurt anyone else’s marriage. I asked all of my neighbors and they say they’re fine.But even though Portia and I got married in the short period of time when it was legal in California, there are 1,138 federal rights for married couples that we don’t have, including some that protect married people from losing their homes, or their savings or custody of their children.”
Describing her much-publicized coming out as “one of the hardest things I ever did,” DeGeneres continues, “I hope the Supreme Court will do the right thing, and let everyone enjoy the same rights. It’s going to help keep families together. It’s going to make kids feel better about who they are. And it is time.”
Full story: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/01/ellen-degeneres-supreme-court-brief-prop-8_n_2789195.html?utm_hp_ref=mostpopular
Today two legendary figures wrote to the Supreme Court in opposition to California’s ban on gay marriage: Clint Eastwood and Barack Obama. The famous gunslinger (who famously admonished an imaginary Obama in a chair at the Republican Convention) and the president chose the same day to ratchet up their support for marriage equality. Huffington Post, covered Eastwood’s announcement this way:
“Hollywood legend Clint Eastwood has taken his well-publicized support of same-sex marriage one step further, calling upon the U.S. Supreme Court to drop Prop 8. As Breitbart’s Mike Flynn reports, the Oscar-winning actor and director joined more than 100 Republicans in signing a Supreme Court-bound brief in favor of allowing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) couples the right to legally wed in California.
“Flynn describes Eastwood as a “long-time Republican with strong libertarian leanings,” and says that signing the Supreme Court briefs implies that he “is going to stay active in the political landscape.” One of Eastwood’s representatives and a spokesman for the American Foundation for Equal Rights, the group spearheading opposition to California’s law banning same-sex marriage, confirmed the news to NBC. Former Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman and GOP strategist Steve Schmidt are among the other high-profile names to sign the brief, CBS News reports.
“The 82-year-old Eastwood discussed his generally pro-same-sex marriage stance in a September 2012 appearance on Ellen DeGeneres’ talk show. “The condition of society right now, with the high unemployment rates and the tremendous debt we’re increasing and the government spending, we’d think there’d be [many more worthy issues] to think about [rather] that worrying about gay marriage,” he told DeGeneres.In 2011, Eastwood similarly told GQ magazine, “I don’t give a f**k about who wants to get married to anybody else! Why not?! We’re making a big deal out of things we shouldn’t be making a deal out of … Just give everybody the chance to have the life they want.”
More at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/28/clint-eastwood-prop-8-gay-marriage-_n_2783489.html?utm_hp_ref=gay-voices
When it comes to bullying, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students are prime targets in gym class. Recent research conducted by the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) revealed that a majority of LGBT youth are bullied in gym classes across the nation and that many feel unsafe or uncomfortable in the athletic environments.GLSEN analyzed the responses of more than 8,584 students between the ages of 13 and 20 in high schools and middle schools across the country, reports today’s Huffington Post “The research, which found “critical gaps in safety and support,” revealed that LGBT youth not only feel unsafe, but that they’re also underrepresented on athletic teams and aren’t fully backed by school staff and policies. Continue reading “On hating gym class”
Puerto Rico’s Supreme Court narrowly voted Wednesday to uphold a law banning gay couples from adopting children.
The 5-4 vote came in the case of an unidentified woman who has sought for the last eight years to adopt a 12-year-old girl who her partner of more than 20 years had through in vitro fertilization, reports Huffington Post. “It was the first time that the court heard a case on same-sex adoptions.
“A majority of judges upheld the constitutionality of a law that states a person cannot adopt a single-parent child if the would-be adopter is of the same sex as the child’s mother or father without that parent losing their legal rights. Continue reading “Puerto Rico says no on adoption”
According to Gallup’s most recent poll of self-identifying LGBT people, the percentage of U.S. adults who say they are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender ranges from 1.7% in North Dakota to 5.1% in Hawaii and 10% in the District of Columbia, according to surveys conducted from June-December 2012.
No qualification was given as to the validity of the survey methodology. Statistically quantifying the LGBT population is subjective. And since the days of Kinsey homosexuality and heterosexuality have been viewed on a continuum rather than a binary scale. Studies like the recent Gallup poll pointing to the statistics are estimates at best. That said, the most widely accepted statistic is that one in every ten individuals is LGBT, with gender identification located on a separate spectrum. Continue reading “Gallup’s latest LGBT poll”
A group of Indiana-based parents, teens and even a teacher is fighting for a separate “traditional” prom that would ban gay students, reports today’s Huffington Post.
“Special education teacher Diana Medley is defending a group of Sullivan High School students who are arguing in favor of the alternate prom.
‘Homosexual students come to me with their problems, and I don’t agree with them, but I care about them,’ Medley told the news station. ‘It’s the same thing with my special needs kids; I think God puts everyone in our lives for a reason.’
“When asked whether or not gay people have a ‘purpose’ in life, Medley added, ‘No, I honestly don’t. Sorry, but I don’t … A gay person isn’t going to come up and make some change unless it’s to realize that it was a choice and they’re choosing God.’
“Medley was just one of several parents, students and others who reportedly met Feb. 10 at the Sullivan First Christian Church demanding that gay students be barred from attending the dance. ‘We want to make the public see that we love the homosexuals, but we don’t think it’s right nor should it be accepted,’ one local student is quoted as saying. Continue reading “The new segregation”
It really does get better for gay and bisexual teens when it comes to being bullied, although young gay men have it worse than their lesbian peers, according to the first long-term scientific evidence on how the problem changes over time, reports a story today in HuffPost.
“The seven-year study involved more than 4,000 teens in England who were questioned yearly through 2010, until they were 19 and 20 years old. At the start, just over half of the 187 gay, lesbian and bisexual teens said they had been bullied; by 2010 that dropped to 9 percent of gay and bisexual boys and 6 percent of lesbian and bisexual girls. The researchers said the same results likely would be found in the United States. Continue reading ““It gets better” study findings”
Just days after a Maryland-based Cub Scout pack was forced to back down on a non-discriminatory pledge because of a reference to sexual orientation, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) might be changing its national stance toward the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, reports todays Huffington Post “NBC cites a number of ‘scouting officials and outsiders familiar with internal discussions’ who say a revised BSA policy would not only lift the ban on gay participants from the national youth organization’s rules, but also allow local sponsoring organizations to decide for themselves whether or not to admit gay scouts.
“‘The chartered organizations that oversee and deliver scouting would accept membership and select leaders consistent with their organization’s mission, principles or religious beliefs,’ BSA Director of Public Relations Deron Smith tells the site, adding that individual sponsors and parents ‘would be able to choose a local unit which best meets the needs of their families.’ Continue reading “Boy Scouts consider lifting ban”
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”
Famous for its reactionary takes on many issues, the American Family Association (AFA) issued a condemnation of President Obama’s broad stance on human rights in his Inaugural Address.
In its remarks, the AFA joined other right wing groups like the Family Research council and National Organization for Marriage, who recently have been stepping up their criticisms of White House policy. The AFA’s Bryan Fischer condemned President Barack Obama’s inaugural address, pointing specifically to it specific references to the LGBT community. As Huffington Post quotes Fischer: “Homosexuals do not have a constitutional right to engage in sodomy.” The story continues:
“Noting that sodomy was a
felony for the first 200 years of America’s history, he added, ‘It’s absurd in the extreme, it’s ridiculous, it’s ludicrous for homosexuals to claim that they have some kind of constitutional right to engage in sexually deviant behavior. Continue reading “American Family Association condemns inaugural speech”
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”
In a disappointing conclusion to a struggle that has galvanized Americans across the country, a Boy Scout was told he would not be receiving his coveted Eagle Scout award because he is openly gay.
Ryan Andresen, 18, had fulfilled his Eagle Scout requirements back in October but was shut down by his local scoutmaster due to his sexuality. On appeal, a volunteer Eagle Scout Board of Review decided that Andresen was in fact worthy of the award and approved his application.
Eagle Scout and Scouts for Equality founder Zach Wahls told GLAAD that once an application has been OK’d by a Board of Review, the understanding is that the member has been approved. Continue reading “Boy scouts fail again”
“Last May I had the pleasure of hearing Mariela Castro, daughter of current Cuban president Raúl Castro and niece of the infamous dictator Fidel Castro, speak while she was visiting on her extremely controversial trip to the United States,” writes David Duran on todays’ Huff Post. “ The following night I was fortunate enough to be granted direct access to her at a private event where I was able to hear more about her efforts to change Cuba with respect to human rights issues, particularly LGBT rights”.
“Mariela’s mother, Vilma Lucila Espín Guillois, was a revolutionary who was the head of the Federation of Cuban Women and helped change policy and the lives of women in her country. Continue reading “Cuba still leading in human rights”
By some estimates, LGBT youth account for as many as 40 percent of young people on the streets. Huff Post today featured a story on this matter, along with an accompanying documentary short of interviews and expert discussion. As it begins:
“Homeless lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth may represent a disproportionate number of people living on the streets and in shelters –- but despite this fact, they are not alone.
“A number of advocates and young LGBT people who’ve experienced homelessness firsthand appeared on HuffPostLive to talk about the unique problems facing that segment of the community in particular.
“You have the classic situation where a young person comes out and gets kicked out,” said Kate Barnhart, director of New Alternatives, a homeless LGBT youth advocacy organization in New York. “But then you also have a fair number of young people who become homeless for socioeconomic reasons.”
Speaking at Princeton University, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was asked why he equates laws banning sodomy with those barring bestiality and murder. The question comes as the court prepares to consider America’s contested Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), defining marriage as an exclusively heterosexual compact. As reported in HuffPost Gay Voices,
“’I don’t think it’s necessary, but I think it’s effective,’ Scalia said, adding that legislative bodies can ban what they believe to be immoral. Scalia has been giving speeches around the
country to promote his new book, “Reading Law,” and his lecture at Princeton comes just days after the court agreed to take on two cases that challenge DOMA. Continue reading “Scalia’s disturbing views on marriage”
Yesterday, the White House issued the statement below on the occasion of U.N. Human rights Day. Say what you may about American government, sometimes it gets it right. This statement by UN Ambassor Susan Rice was featured in today’s JoeMyGod:
“Today, we pledge to live up to Eleanor Roosevelt’s inspirational example, for in far too many places human freedoms are still denied. As long as a family anywhere is tormented by a state-sanctioned killer; a peaceful agitator is hounded by a violent brigade; an artist is locked away for expressing what she thinks; an LGBT individual is harassed because of whom he or she loves; a community is beleaguered because of how it worships; a person with a disability is marginalized by those who ignore plain injustice; or a girl is threatened for having the audacity to pick up a book; all of our rights have been violated. Continue reading “World Human rights”
For anyone who hasn’t heard about Andrew Solomon’s Far from the Tree, this book is much more than a tome (900+ pages) about parents and special-needs kids. Solomon has written a tour-de-force discussion on difference and identity worthy of anyone’s attentions, especially those of us who do not conform to the tyranny of normativity. Julie Myerson wrote a wonderful piece on the book in a recent New York Times Book Review. While the later chapters in Far From the Tree each could be their own separate books about specific conditions of being, the first 200 pages are pure gold. As Myerson begins her review,
“How does it feel to be the mother of a teenage dwarf who’s desperate to start dating? What if you love the daughter you conceived when you were raped but can’t bear to be touched by her? And, as the father of a happy, yet profoundly deaf son who’s forgotten how it feels to hear, how do you deal with your memories of the times you played music together? Continue reading “Far from the tree”
“I will not donate to the Salvation Army, but will instead give to other charities until the Salvation stops discriminating.”
The statement appears on vouchers circulating this week in opposition to the Salvation Army’s widely-known prejudices toward the LGBT community. As The Huffington Post reports,
“With the holiday shopping season in full swing, the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle campaign is once again coming under intense scrutiny from lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights advocates. Continue reading “Bigotry is not a Christmas value”