Blog Posts Related to the LGBT Community
- Posted byon October 13, 2011 at 11:01 AM EDT
In a recent survey of 6,450 transgender and gender non-conforming persons, 19 percent reported having been refused a house or an apartment because of gender identity, and 19 percent reported having been homeless because of gender identity. Findings of a 2007 Michigan study indicate that same sex couples face bias and discriminatory treatment based on sexual orientation when trying to access rental housing.
Recognizing these issues and utilizing its authority to promote decent housing and a suitable living environment for all, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has taken important steps over the past two years to ensure that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons have equal access to housing and HUD programs.
- Posted byon October 4, 2011 at 2:47 PM EDT
This past Saturday night, I was proud to hear President Obama speak at the Human Rights Campaign’s 15th Annual Dinner at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC. The crowd of 3,200 heard the President passionately describe a bold vision for “a big America” in which lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people are treated equally under the law. And thanks to the President’s leadership, we have passed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, lifted the HIV entry ban, and repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” bringing us that much closer to a more perfect union.
We have made great strides, but as the President said on Saturday night, we have more work to do.
We must repeal the discriminatory, so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), and until that day comes, this Administration will no longer defend DOMA in the courts.
- Posted byon October 2, 2011 at 10:24 AM EDT
Yesterday, President Obama addressed the 15th Annual Human Rights Campaign National Dinner at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC. In his speech, the President stressed his commitment to the cause of equality over the past two and a half years, and his continuing support moving forward.
Now, I don’t have to tell you that we have a ways to go in that struggle. I don’t have to tell you how many are still denied their basic rights -- Americans who are still made to feel like second-class citizens, who have to live a lie to keep their jobs, or who are afraid to walk the street, or down the hall at school. Many of you have devoted your lives to the cause of equality. So you know what we have to do; we’ve got more work ahead of us.
But we can also be proud of the progress we’ve made these past two and a half years. Think about it. Two years ago, I stood at this podium, in this room, before many of you, and I made a pledge. I said I would never counsel patience; that it wasn’t right to tell you to be patient any more than it was right for others to tell African Americans to be patient in the fight for equal rights a half century ago. But what I also said, that while it might take time –- more time than anyone would like -– we are going to make progress; we are going to succeed; we are going to build a more perfect union
- Posted byon September 27, 2011 at 9:00 AM EDT
In 1981, our nation and its public health system were grappling with a new disease that was taking the lives of gay men across the United States. Thirty years later, HIV/AIDS continues to be a crisis among gay and bisexual men. The latest data show men who have sex with men (MSM) remain most affected in this country. Although MSM represent 2% of the population, they account for 64% of all new infections (including 3% among MSM who are injection drug users [IDUs]). CDC estimates that there were more than 30,000 new HIV infections in 2009 among MSM, including MSM-IDU. Though the numbers have gone down dramatically, approximately 7,000 MSM with an AIDS diagnoses still die each year and nearly 300,000 MSM with AIDS have died since the beginning of the epidemic.
Today, we commemorate the fourth annual National Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, an observance founded by the National Association of People with AIDS to raise awareness of the HIV/AIDS epidemic among gay and bisexual men. This annual observance is one way we are focusing attention and resources on those populations at highest risk for HIV infection, including gay and bisexual men. This focus is a top priority outlined in the National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS).
- Posted byon September 22, 2011 at 6:02 PM EDT
On Wednesday, addressing the UN General Assembly, President Obama said, "No country should deny people their rights to freedom of speech and freedom of religion, but also no country should deny people their rights because of who they love, which is why we must stand up for the rights of gays and lesbians everywhere."
We believe that this is the first time that the President of the United States has used his annual General Assembly address to call on the world's heads of state to reaffirm that every person has the right to love whom they choose. The location and timing of the speech held special meaning considering that seventy-six countries in attendance have laws that make same-sex acts illegal -- and five consider same-sex acts punishable by death.
- Posted byon September 20, 2011 at 6:38 PM EDT
In December, when President Obama signed the historic law that ended discrimination against gay and lesbian Americans serving in our armed forces, he told a story about one of his visits to Afghanistan. “A young woman in uniform was shaking my hand,” he said, “and other people were grabbing and taking pictures. And she pulled me into a hug and she whispered in my ear, ‘Get ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ done.’ And I said to her, ‘I promise you I will.’”
That promise made is now a promise kept. As of 12:01am today, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is over. Already, gay and lesbian men and women have sent in their applications to proudly – and openly – serve the country we all love.
I’m delighted to celebrate with friends from around the country, who worked with President Obama to help make this day a reality. Repealing DADT certainly wasn’t easy. There were those who believed our President would not be able to accomplish such a difficult task.
But even when the odds appeared to be against him, President Obama never gave up. Just as I’ve seen him do time and time again during our 20 years of friendship, he demonstrated courage, vision, and the ability get things done. Together with a broad coalition of Americans who care deeply about the ideals of this country, he made this moment happen.
At a time when the President is calling on Congress to put politics aside and act in the greater interest of the American people, it’s important to recognize that elected leaders from both parties deserve credit for ending DADT. In December, I went to the Capitol Building to watch the Senate vote on repeal. I saw eight Republicans join their Democratic colleagues to vote “Yes.” It was a reminder that when the stakes are high enough, and the choice is clear enough, Congress can come together and do the right thing.
Of course, while the end of DADT is a milestone, we’ve got a long way to go. Even on this happy day, there are young people who face bullying at school, just because of their sexual orientation. There are LGBT Americans who still face discrimination, and are denied rights they deserve.
So we are not done fighting. But today, we remember that when we all come together to make this country a better place, change is not just possible. Change is inevitable. On behalf of myself, and the entire Obama Administration, I look forward to working with all of you as we continue our journey toward a more perfect union.
- Posted byon September 8, 2011 at 12:38 PM EDT
While different patients may need different treatments, rights and privileges should be equal. This week, we’re taking big steps forward to improve the health and well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) patients and their loved ones.
Couples take a vow to be with each other in sickness and in health, and it is unfortunate that, in the past, some same-sex partners were denied the right to visit their loved ones in times of need. Hospital visits from loved ones are key to a patient’s recovery. And patients should be able to focus on their recovery process without worrying about whether their loved one will be admitted to their hospital room. With this in mind, we’ve released guidance for enforcing new rules that give all patients, including those with same-sex partners, the right to choose who can visit them in the hospital. The guidance also addresses the enforcement of other rules that govern the right of patients to choose who will help make medical decisions on their behalf should they become incapacitated. This is intended to make it easier for family members, including a same-sex domestic partner, to make informed care decisions for loved ones who have become incapacitated.
- Posted byon September 2, 2011 at 5:35 PM EDT
Ed. Note: Champions of Change is a weekly initiative to highlight Americans who are making an impact in their communities and helping our country rise to meet the many challenges of the 21st century.
Each one of us deserves a chance to dream for the future, no matter who we love or how we express our gender. For thousands of young people across this country, whether they are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning (LGBTQ), they find themselves in situations of isolation, high anxiety and depression with nowhere to turn. They may fear rejection from their families, or have been bullied by their peers; they may have been kicked out of their home or rejected by their religious community, or they suffer from mental illness. For too many young people, the built-in safety nets of love, acceptance and caring do not exist; but for them, there is always “Trevor.”
The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ young people, ages 13-24. Offering lifesaving programs and information, Trevor works every day to help make the future better for all LGBTQ youth.