Poll: Majority for marriage

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A new Gallup Poll shows a majority of the American people (53 percent) support marriage rights for committed gay and lesbian couples. This is one of several major polls to confirm the sea change in public opinion on the issue of marriage equality. The poll found Democratic and Independent support for marriage equality increased by more than 10 points over the past year. Sixty-nine percent of Democrats, 59 percent of Independents, and 28 percent of Republicans support marriage equality. Previous polls by CNN, Associated Press, and Washington Post similarly registered majority support of marriage equality. “At the moment,” writes Gallup, “those advocating changes in constitutions and laws to allow same-sex marriage in additional states can take heart in the apparent shift in national sentiment in their direction.”

HRC endorses Obama reelection

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBT civil rights organization, has endorsed President Barack Obama for reelection. According to a statement, the decision was made based on the president’s demonstrated commitment to LGBT equality and his record of accomplishment, from major legislative victories to critical administrative reforms. “President Obama has improved the lives of LGBT Americans more than any president in history,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “In 2008 we were promised change and profound change is what we got. More remains to be done and ensuring that President Obama is able to continue the forward momentum toward equality for another term is an absolute priority of the Human Rights Campaign.”

LGBT smokers urged to quit

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Throughout June, the American Lung Association is encouraging members of the LGBT community to honor Pride Month by focusing on their health, particularly by quitting smoking or encouraging their friends to quit. According to Smoking Out a Deadly Threat: Tobacco Use in the LGBT Community, a health disparity report released by the American Lung Association last year, LGBT Americans smoke at a much higher rate than the general public. Key facts highlighted in the report include the following: Gay, bisexual and transgender men are 2 to 2.5 times more likely to smoke than heterosexual men; Lesbian, bisexual and transgender women are 1.5 to 2 times more likely to smoke than heterosexual women; and, Bisexual boys and girls have some of the highest smoking rates when compared with both their heterosexual and homosexual peers.

Nevada expands protections

CARSON CITY, Nev. — Gov. Brian Sandoval has signed into law SB331 and SB368, barring discrimination in public accommodations and housing respectively. SB331 protects against discrimination in public accommodations on the basis of gender identity or expression, while SB368 adds sexual orientation and gender identity or expression to Nevada’s housing anti-discrimination law. Additionally, in May the Nevada legislature passed and Gov. Sandoval signed AB211, legislation that expanded the state’s anti-discrimination laws in employment to cover gender identity or expression.

Study examines drug use

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — New findings from the U.S. National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study, the longest-running study ever conducted on American lesbian families (now in its 25th year), reveal that 17-year-old daughters and sons of lesbian mothers in the study who reported experiences of homophobic stigmatization did not report higher levels of substance use. The results were compared to a demographically matched group of adolescents from the national Monitoring the Future Survey conducted by the University of Michigan with funding from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study is the first to explore the association between homophobia and substance use in adolescents raised by lesbians.

Fed guidance for trans workers

WASHINGTON, D.C. — LGBT leaders and advocates praised the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) for publishing guidance regarding the rights of transgender federal employees. Pursuant to a June 2009 presidential memorandum, OPM added gender identity to the categories protected under the equal employment opportunity policy for Executive Branch positions. The guidance published May 27 provides further information to federal managers and human resources officials to ensure that transgender employees are treated fairly and equally in their public service to our nation. The document can be viewed at opm.gov/diversity/Transgender/Guidance.asp.

Giants make it ‘Better’

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — The San Francisco Giants are the first team in professional sports to produce an “It Gets Better” video taking a stand against anti-gay bullying and homophobia. Lifelong Giants fan Sean Chapin encouraged the World Series champions to make the video by starting an online petition on Change.org. More than 6,000 Giants fans signed the petition. Over 10,000 “It Gets Better” videos have been produced since syndicated columnist Dan Savage and his partner Terry Miller launched the project in September 2010, in response to an epidemic of teen suicides by gay kids and kids perceived to be gay. The Giants video can be viewed at youtube.com/watch?v=A1TcD95kmGQ.

Gay acceptance up worldwide

CHICAGO, IL — A report by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago presents new findings on the cross-national differences in attitudes toward homosexuality. Based on five rounds of surveys administered in different countries between 1988 and 2008, the report examined general trends and ranked countries regarding their attitudes towards homosexuality. The study concludes that “overwhelmingly, societies have become more accepting of homosexual behavior.” Thirty-one countries were identified with data that showed trends in public opinion about homosexual behavior. Of those, approval of homosexuality increased in 27 countries and in only 4 countries did it decrease: Russia, the Czech Republic, Cyprus and Latvia. Moreover, the growth in approval was stronger than the decline. The top five countries with the highest acceptance of homosexuality ratings are the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Switzerland and Belgium-Flanders. The bottom half of the list consisted of seven ex-Socialist states, four East Asian nations, three Latin American countries and Cyprus, South Africa and Turkey.


David Stout

David Stout is the associate editor of QNotes. He can be reached at editor2@goqnotes.com.