As the nation marks the opening of LGBT Pride month, executive directors from 34 LGBT and HIV/AIDS organizations from across the United States have released a joint letter committing themselves and their organizations to re-engaging the broader LGBT community in the fight against HIV. While issues like marriage equality and employment protections for LGBT workers have taken center stage, HIV continues to ravage the LGBT community. Despite making up just two percent of the population, gay and bisexual men accounted for more than 63 percent of new HIV infections in 2010. In fact, gay men are the only group in which HIV infections are increasing.
The HIV epidemic isn’t over, and especially not in Maryland, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control annual state-by-state report on HIV infections and disease issued February 28th. Maryland ranked in the top ten among states on such key measures as new infections in 2011, cumulative diagnoses through 2011, deaths through 2010, and living cases at year-end 2010.
At the White House on February 15, President Obama awarded the 2012 Presidential Citizens Medal to PFLAG founder Jeanne Manford. Mrs. Manford’s daughter, Suzanne Swan, accepted the award on behalf of her mother, who passed away last month, at the age of 92.
The Boy Scouts of America announced on February 6 a decision to delay a vote on repealing the organization’s gay ban.
“After careful consideration and extensive dialogue within the Scouting family, along with comments from those outside the organization, the volunteer officers of the Boy Scouts of America’s National Executive Board concluded that due to the complexity of this issue, the organization needs time for a more deliberate review of its membership policy,” the statement from the board read.
Coming out to one’s family can be stressful, but gay black males face a unique set of personal, familial and social challenges.
“Parents and youths alike worry that gay men cannot meet the rigid expectations of exaggerated masculinity maintained by their families and communities,” says Michael C. LaSala, director of the Master of Social Work program at Rutgers University School of Social Work. LaSala, an associate professor, recently completed an exploratory study of African American gay youth and their families from urban neighborhoods in New York City and Philadelphia.
For the first time, crimes directed against individuals on the basis of sexual orientation are the second most frequent hate crime committed after crimes based on race, according to the 2011 Hate Crimes statistics released last month by the FBI as part of the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program. Surpassing crimes committed on the basis on religion, the number of reported hate crimes committed against gay men and lesbians increased from 1,277 in 2010 to 1,293 in 2011.
REACHING OUT TO THE GAY AND LESBIAN COMMUNITY?
ADVERTISE IN BALTIMORE OUTLOUD WITH PRIDE!
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