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GLBTQ Issues Gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (GLBTQ) youth face tremendous difficulties growing up in a society

where heterosexuality is often presented as the only acceptable orientation, and homosexuality is regarded as deviant. Research suggests that homophobia and heterosexist greatly contribute to higher rates of suicide, violence victimization, risk behaviour for HIV infection, and substance abuse among GLBTQ youth as compared to their heterosexual peers. In recent years, however, a number of promising programs have been established to help GLBTQ youth gain the skills and support they need to develop into healthy adults in a society that largely rejects them. If you are conducting research on LGBT youth health and well-being, be sure to check out Advocates' LGBT Youth Research Guide for the most recent news, scholarly research, and publications from a variety of sources.

Redressing Sexual and Reproductive Health Disparities Among Young People

As members of more than one minority group, GLBTQ youth of colour face special challenges in a society which often presents heterosexuality as the only acceptable orientation and in which non-whites have disproportionately higher rates of negative sexual outcomes. Economic and cultural disparities, as well as sexual risk taking and other risk-taking behaviour, make these youth vulnerable to HIV, pregnancy, and sexual violence. Holistic, culturally competent health care is essential to their wellbeing.

How Religious Conservatives Plan To Regroup After Losing Marriage Discrimination

By Ian Millhiser posted from ThinkProgress Justice on Jul 3, 2013 at 1:30 pm

Last week was not a good one for Team Anti-Gay. The Supreme Court struck the unconstitutional Defence of Marriage Act, and the nations largest state resumed marriages for same-sex couples. Nor is the future likely to be any better for opponents of equality. As conservative Justice Antonin Scalia complains in dissent, the Courts opinion striking DOMA is riddled with language that can be used to attack anti-gay state laws. Moreover, two cases squarely presenting the issue of whether states must provide gay couples with the equal protection of the law are now ripe for review by the left-leaning United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The question of full, nationwide marriage equality could be before the justices in as little as two years. And even if a majority of the Court does reject this final push for marriage equality, time is simply not on the side of discrimination. Nearly 7 in 10 Americans under 40 approve of the Supreme Courts recent pro-marriage decision. The only age cohort where a majority oppose that decision are people over age 65. In twenty years, supporters of equality will run the country from top to bottom, and most opponents will be dead. Religious conservatives, however, still have one more card to play in their efforts to deny equal rights to LGBT Americans. As the socially conservative writer Ross Douthat suggested shortly after the Court struck DOMA, the best way to continue to limit the rights of gay people is to build in as many protections for religious liberty as possible along the way. Its clear that anti-gay leaders are already executing this contingency plan. Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint claimed on Tuesday that marriage equality means trampling First Amendment religious liberty protections along the way. At least fifteen antigay individuals, ranging from wedding cake bakers to bed and breakfast owners to t-shirt makers, have claimed the right to discriminate against gay people often in direct violation of the law with many citing their religious beliefs as justification. The conservative U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops claimed in a brief they filed in the Supreme Court that

treating anti-gay discrimination permissively protects the religious liberty of those employers with a religious objection to providing health coverage to same-sex partners. The Bishops brief may be the biggest window into how religious conservatives plan to construct a wall around their own right to discriminate. At the same time that the Bishops urged the justices to protect a special right to deny health care to gay people, numerous employers with the enthusiastic backing of the Bishops themselves are litigating the question of whether their religious objections to birth control give them the right to ignore a federal rule requiring them to include it in their employees health plans. Last week, a federal appeals court embraced a particularly aggressive reading of religious liberty that not only held that for profit companies may refuse to comply with the birth control rule, it also included language suggesting that a religious employer could refuse to comply with antidiscrimination law if they believed discrimination was compelled by their faith. This, simply put, is the social conservative end game. They are not going to succeed in blocking marriage equality. But if they can exempt the very people who are most likely to engage in invidious discrimination against gay people from laws prohibiting such discrimination, then they can suck the life out of many pro-gay laws. Their exaggerated view of religious liberty can no more be squared with equality than it could when Bob Jones University claimed a similar religious right to engage in race discrimination.

NOM Cites Family Study That Actually Supports Marriage Equality

By Zack Ford on Jul 3, 2013 at 9:20 am The National Organization for Marriage is continuing its ruse that theres legitimate social science supporting their opposition to marriage equality. The latest example is a recent study about how husbands and wives value various activities around the house, which found that fathers who engage with their kids and help with household work tend to have better quality marriages. Thus, NOM claims, dads who bond with kids help keep marriage strong, a timeless truth. Its not surprising that wives like husbands who help around the house and are involved with their kids. In fact, by arriving at that conclusion through research, the study actually compromises NOMs mission of obstructing marriage equality, because it shows that marriages are healthier when they do not conform to gender norms and traditional breakdowns of responsibility. Heres a quote from the end of the article NOM picked up on its blog: Rather than basing the choice of chores on traditional roles, Gerber recommends that tasks be divided based on both who cares most about getting the particular job done and who is best at it. My husband doesnt care if my kids have matching outfits on and I dont care about getting the oil changed, she said. Couples need to sit down and discuss who will be primarily responsible for what. That stops fights and clears so much air. Conservative groups like NOM and Focus on the Family have a long history of citing studies about fathers and using them to draw claims about same-sex parenting should be legalized as there is no problem at all and thus marriage laws. Most investigations of women whove been abandoned by their partners which is with the same sex are left to raise their adopted children alone, which conservatives then use to claim that all fatherless children including those with loving, committed lesbian parents are worse off. This study, like the others, did not include any same-sex couples, so it largely has no conclusions to draw about marriage equality. Still, it runs counter to NOMs narrative, which claims that marriage should be exclusive to heterosexuals because men and women are different and complementary. Its those differences or acquiescence to stereotypical and traditional differences that actually lower the quality of marriages, at least according to this study. Perhaps NOM could learn a lesson from same-sex families, whove been conveniently ignoring gender stereotypes around the house since they first started forming.

NOM Spokesperson Hangs Up On Radio Show To Avoid Acknowledging Same-Sex Couples Kids
By Zack Ford on Jul 2, 2013 at 5:00 pm

Thomas Peters, National Organization for Marriage Communications Director

The one argument in favor of marriage equality that conservatives refuse to acknowledge is that the children of same-sex couples would benefit if their parents could marry. This proved especially true in an interview that Thomas Peters, communications director for the National Organization for Marriage, gave on KABCs McIntyre in the Morning the day the Supreme Court ruled against the Defense of Marriage Act.

Peters repeated his regular talking point that marriage should be exclusive to heterosexual couples because only they can biologically produce a child. When host Doug McIntyre pushed back, acknowledging that same-sex adoption has been legal in many states for quite some time, Peters abruptly ended the interview: MCINTYRE: Weve had gay adoption for a very long time, so weve had gay and lesbian couples adopting children or having children through surrogates for years. And now they want to codify those unions and marriage and for some reason we want to deny them that? If were talking about raising children in gay relationships, weve been doing that for years. PETERS: I was led to believe this was a conversation about what the Court did today, and I have other interviews waiting. Im happy to have a debate about marriage but I simply see adoption as a separate issue. What weve done with adoption is not a reason to redefine marriage, and if youve actually looked at the individual states that have redefined

marriage, one of the first things that happened is they forced Catholic and Lutheran adoption agencies to shutter their doors. So we can talk about adoption until the cows come home, but right now Im fighting very hard for the true definition of marriage at the Supreme Court and across the country and thank you very much for having us on your show. Listen to it (via Jeremy Hooper at NOM Exposed): Peters strawman about adoption agencies is of course wrong; those agencies voluntarily closed down because they wanted to both receive state funding and continue discriminating against same-sex couples. But Peters claim that the question wasnt about the Supreme Court decision is also a farce, because Justice Kennedy specifically wrote about same-sex families in the Majoritys opinion. In fact, some of Kennedys strongest language addressed how the Defense of Marriage Act humiliates tens of thousands of children now being raised by same-sex couples, making it more difficult for them to understand the integrity and closeness of their own family. Peters cant have it both ways. If his position for marriage is about children, then he has to think about all children. Apparently he only cares about straight couples children, which shows his argument isnt about children at all its just about discriminating against the gay community.