National

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Emory receives ‘historic’ grant to study how black LGBT and civil rights movements intersect

Emory University has received a two-year $234,000 grant to explore how the civil rights movement intersects with today's black LGBT movements.

The grant is the largest awarded to Atlanta-based Emory from the Racial Justice, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity program of the Arcus Foundation, "a global foundation dedicated to advancing equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people," reports the Emory Report.

"It is historic that the Arcus Foundation has taken this step," Rudolph P. Byrd, the Johnson Institute's founding director and Goodrich C. White Professor of American Studies, told the Emory Report.

Ten national scholars and civil rights and LGBT experts will comprise the first-of-its-kind working group will begin meeting this week "to present papers and establish a dialogue with faculty and students," according to the Emory Report.

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[Video] Georgia transgender woman speaks out on discrimination

A new video is out from In the Life Media featuring two transgender woman — Ja'briel from Hinesville, Ga., located just more than four hours south of Atlanta near Savannah, and Michelle, who is from Los Angeles — speaking out about the discrimination they face.

The video is being released to highlight the findings of the first national report on transgender discrimination released in February by the National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force.

"Everything is kinda of taboo in the South and instead of trying to understand, people tend to go off hearsay … they tend to construct things in their minds an image of what they think a transgender person is," says Ja'briel, who is a school bus driver.

As an African-American trans woman in the rural South, Ja'briel said finding a job is also difficult.

“I went to school and earned a degree, but because of discrimination I’m limited in my employment options, and so it’s been very troubling to know that this is an extra burden on me financially and in other ways,” Ja’briel says.

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‘Historic’ report calls for LGBT data in health research, records

IOM Chair Robert Graham

To better understand the health of LGBT people, questions about sexual orientation and gender identity should be included in federally funded surveys and electronic health records, according to a new report from the Institute of Medicine.

The groundbreaking report, considered “historic” by some, is another step in the federal recognition of LGBT people as a population who has its own specific health needs.

“It’s easy to assume that because we are all humans, gender, race, or other characteristics of study participants shouldn’t matter in health research, but they certainly do,” IOM Committee Chair Robert Graham said March 31, when the report was released.

Graham is a professor of family medicine and public health sciences at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati.

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Interview: How Atlanta changed the heart of gay marriage opponent Louis Marinelli

Louis Marinelli, former NOM strategist, recently came out in favor of same-sex marriage

When the anti-gay National Organization for Marriage brought its “Summer of Marriage” tour to the Georgia Capitol in August 2010, more than 300 counter-protesters gathered across the street to show support for same-sex marriage.

The vibrant counter-protest was a stark contrast to the NOM rally, which drew only about 35 attendees, including the event’s organizers. Among them was Louis Marinelli, a self-described conservative Republican who spearheaded the tour.

On his website, Louis recently came out of his own closet with the revelation that he now supports civil marriage for gay couples.

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Service Chiefs: DADT repeal implementation ‘going very well’

Military Chiefs at a Don't Ask, Don't Tell hearing before the House Armed Services Committee

The House Armed Services Committee held a hearing today on the implementation of the repeal of “Don't Ask, Don't Tell.” For the first time since the repeal was signed into law by President Barack Obama late last year, the military's service chiefs were called before Congress to testify on the anti-gay policy's repeal.

Though no firm date for full repeal was given, several service chiefs said their branches are aiming to complete training before mid-summer and that most were on track or ahead of schedule with regard to training.

Today's hearing featured Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz, Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos and Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Chiarelli, who represented the Army in the place of Gen. George Casey, who was tending to family matters.

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9 million LGBT people living in U.S. according to national report

There are roughly 9 million lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender adults living in the U.S. but more concrete data on the number of LGBT Americans is needed to help shape public policies, according a report released today by the Williams Institute.

The report, titled "How Many People Are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender?" finds that a good estimate of the number of LGBT Americans — adults — is about 9 million, or roughly the population of New Jersey. The approximate population of the U.S. is more than 311 million people (including children), according to the most recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The report from the Williams Institute, a national think tank located at the UCLA School of Law,  also estimates that people who report "same-sex sexual behavior" in their lifetime is as high as 19 million Americans, or 8.2 percent — and this is about the population of Florida. Some 11 percent, or nearly 25.6 million Americans, say they "at least have some same-sex attraction" — or more than the population of Texas.

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National LGBT Health Awareness Week, March 28 – April 11

22

Percent of gays and lesbians in a recent survey who had no health insurance.

12

Percent of straight survey respondents with no insurance.

15

Percent of gay, lesbian and bi people who said they delayed health care for fear of discrimination.

3

Percent of heterosexuals who say they delay healthcare over discrimination fears.

30

Percent of transgender people surveyed who said they had experienced harassment or violence in health care.

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Ex-gay? Now there’s not an app for that

Exodus International, maker of an ex-gay app pulled from Apple's app store after online petitionIn response to an online petition with more than 100,000 signatures, Apple recently pulled an app by Exodus International, a group that preaches “freedom from homosexuality.”

“We removed the Exodus International app from the App Store because it violates our developer guidelines by being offensive to large groups of people,” Tom Neumayr, an Apple spokesperson, said March 23.

Truth Wins Out, an organization that seeks to counter the so-called ex-gay movement, started the effort against the Exodus app by launching a petition at Change.org. At press time, the petition had 157,130 signatures.

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Gay candidate announces GOP bid for president

Openly gay Fred Karger announces Presidential bidGay politico and activist Fred Karger filed papers March 23 with the Federal Elections Commission making him the first official candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012.

“I am also the first openly gay person, in a major political party, to ever run for president of the United States,” Karger noted in a statement on his campaign website.

Karger said in the statement that he plans to discuss a variety of issues during his campaign, but also stressed the historic nature of his long-shot bid.

“I dedicate today to the six teenagers who took their lives this past fall because they were bullied for who they were. … I want to send a loud and clear message to anyone who is gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or queer, that you can do anything you want to do in this country,” he said. “You can even run for president of the United States.”

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An open letter to Newt Gingrich

Playwright and writer Topher PayneDear Newt,

Can I call you Newt? As a fellow Georgian, I feel we can relate in a down-home, folksy kinda way.

We have things in common, you and me. We both like Reese’s peanut butter cups. Neither of us is actually from Georgia. We have funny names. We both failed to have lasting relationships with women.

Anyhoo, I saw on the news that you’ve got some interest in being our next president. I don’t know why you would want that. When you’re president, people will come after you for any indiscretion and publicly humiliate you. Remember what happened to Bill Clinton, with the impeachment hearings stemming from his extramarital affair? Oh, silly me, of course you remember that. You were leading the charge against him. While you were having an extramarital affair. Boy, good thing nobody was watching you! You rascal.

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‘Historic’ report released on the need to gather critical data on LGBT health

More data is needed to understand the health of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and one way to gather that necessary information is to have federally funded surveys ask this information on forms, such as they do for race and gender, and collected in electronic health records, according to a new report from the Institute of Medicine.

The groundbreaking report, considered "historic" by some, is another step in the federal recognition of LGBT people as a population who has its own specific health needs.

"It's easy to assume that because we are all humans, gender, race, or other characteristics of study participants shouldn't matter in health research, but they certainly do," said IOM committee chair Robert Graham in a statement released today. Graham is professor of family medicine and public health sciences and Robert and Myfanwy Smith Chair, department of family medicine, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati.

"It was only when researchers made deliberate efforts to engage women and racial and ethnic minorities in studies that we discovered differences in how some diseases occur in and affect specific populations,” Graham added. “Routine collection of information on race and ethnicity has expanded our understanding of conditions that are more prevalent among various groups or that affect them differently. We should strive for the same attention to and engagement of sexual and gender minorities in health research."