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Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013

News for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Physicians

New bill could benefit older LGBT individuals

New bill could benefit older LGBT individuals

The U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on July 10 passed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) on a bipartisan vote. ENDA federally would prohibit workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in every state.

A recent article from the Center for American Progress highlights how ENDA might be especially beneficial for older lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Americans in the workforce. Specifically, there are three top reasons that make ENDA a priority for older LGBT individuals:

  • Older LGBT American workers already face discrimination because of their advanced age. Age-based employment discrimination has persisted in workplaces across the country, despite being outlawed by the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967. Older job applicants are more likely to be passed over for job interviews than younger applicants and to be paid less.
  • Older LGBT workers also are more likely to be "out" in the workplace and face higher rates of discrimination because of it. More than 20 percent of older LGBT workers are "out" to their employers, compared with only 5 percent of younger LGBT workers. When LGBT employees are out in the workplace, they are significantly more likely to experience overt discrimination and harassment.
  • Employment discrimination adds up over a worker's lifespan. A lack of fairness in the workplace also can contribute to less financial security later in life. Unequal access to retirement benefits, combined with a potential lack of job stability and the LGBT wage gap, makes older age a struggle for some elders.

Proponents of the Senate bill believe it is essential to providing LGBT Americans financial security as they age.

AMA policy opposes discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Learn more about all of the AMA's policies on LGBT issues.

Study explores how gay parents combat stigma

Gay parents actively work to foster a positive family identity and marginalize negative messaging for their children, according to a new study to be published in the Journal of Family Communication.

One of the study's authors, Diana Breshears, explains that their work on interfamily communication in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender households is among the first of its kind. "There has been a lot of research focusing on the effects of gay parenting on children in three areas: sexual identity, social functioning and psychological well-being, and some of these studies included children who were conceived in previous heterosexual relationships," she said in an interview with Medical Xpress. "What has received little attention until now is the role of relational and cultural discourses in the ways children think and talk about their non-traditional family identity."

According to Medical Xpress, the researchers identified four common pathways that were used to marginalize negative messaging:

  • Emphasizing opposing views as ignorant
  • Highlighting flaws of religious views
  • Stressing others' lack of authority to judge
  • Emphasizing the precedence of love