Prejudice kills lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals …. not just quickly and violently as sometimes happens in bullying incidents and hate crimes but also, as it turns out, slowly and steadily.
In what appears to be the first study to look at the consequences of anti-LGBT prejudice for mortality, researchers have found that lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals who lived in communities with high levels of anti-gay prejudice have a shorter life expectancy of 12 years on average compared with their peers in the least prejudiced communities.
“The results of this study suggest a broadening of the consequences of prejudice to include premature death,” noted the study’s lead author, Mark Hatzenbuehler, PhD, assistant professor of Sociomedical Sciences at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. Read more at Science Daily News.
Two items landed in my news feeds this week, reminding me of that old business slogan, “Build a better mousetrap …. and the people will come.”
The first was from the Huffington Post about Chobani yogurt, an official sponsor of Team USA at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. As it happens, thousands of cups of Chobani yogurt are waiting to be shipped to Sochi to feed American athletes, but the Russians have been refusing to allow the shipment because of an ongoing dairy products spat with the United States.
LGBT activists in Cambodia, assisted by the United Nations and civil society organizations, are urging the government to pass legislation banning hate crimes and discrimination. What was billed as the first regional community dialogue dedicated to LGBT concerns was held in Phnom Penh January 20-21 and included more than 50 LGBT citizens discussing discriminations they have experienced. Read the story from the Phnom Penh Post.
“We are ordinary people too,” Nay Sitha, from the Rainbow Community Kampuchea (RoCK), said. “Ordinary people that need access to jobs, education and healthcare; why should we be discriminated against for how we dress or who we love?”
Unfortunately, the routes to such positive legislation to secure equality for LGBTs can sometimes be labyrinthine. In Seattle, for example, the press for such laws began in the 1970s with quick successes in the city council, where laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in housing, public accommodations Continue reading Pressing for LGBT rights in Cambodia→
Nigeria’s government has launched what may be one of the most vicious campaigns against its LGBT citizens since Nazi Germany’s Holocaust. Mobs demand deaths by stoning; judges pride themselves for compassion by “mere” whippings and imprisonments. As the New York Times reports, a new Nigerian law does not just ban same-sex marriage but “goes significantly further, prescribing 10 Continue reading Nigeria’s vicious LGBT “sanitizing”→
Many countries have laws insuring that any affection between LGBT folks can be punished as “gross indecency” or as a violation of traditional values that somehow endanger children. But here’s another video promoting LGBT equality that shows just how wrong those laws are — another piece of “rock com” for social change as one of my colleagues terms it.
It’s nothing fancy, like the Grammy Awards with a cast that included marrying couples and Madonna. Just simple love and romance between two men brought to the public eye.
David thought it was just a surprise birthday party. So did the friends who had been invited to surprise him. But David’s boyfriend Lucas had a surprise for everyone. Be sure to watch until the end. View the video.
Some really important and positive news out of Singapore that apparently happened last November but is now just being noticed by the media — mostly because LGBT opponents are trying to overturn it:
The Singapore Health Promotion Board, which is the island nation’s leading government health organization, has declared that LGBT citizens are NOT mentally ill and are NOT suffering from any disease. They are instead — surprise — normal.
Amid all the focus on LGBT marriages in the United States, last week came a blast from what seems like the dark ages of American civil rights movements. It was a reminder that even when grand strides seem to have been made to secure LGBT equal protection, there are literally hundreds of legal discriminations still needing to be very specifically overturned by positive laws or positive judicial rulings.
Did you think that long ago LGBT citizens in the U.S. had secured the right to serve on juries? Guess again. We MIGHT have gotten that right just about 10 days ago … but only in the Western states.