AMA Wire

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

News for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Physicians

NIH calls for input on LGBTI health research

NIH calls for input on LGBTI health research

The National Institutes of Health (NIH), the world's largest health research institution, has issued an unprecedented call for input on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) health.

The request for input is open to the public and asks for feedback on such topics as methodological or other challenges to data collection and analysis for small and/or hard-to-reach and/or heterogeneous LGBTI populations. It also asks about opportunities to expand the knowledge base of LGBTI health and effective ways to engage and enhance communication with the LGBTI health research and advocacy communities.

LGBT health researchers have welcomed the NIH's engagement. "It's exciting to see the steps that NIH is taking to address our health needs," said Shane Snowdon, Health and Aging Director for the Human Rights Campaign. "I was moved by this historic session at which NIH officials, including Dr. Francis Collins, NIH's chief, met with LGBTI representatives to learn about the challenges we face and what initiatives would make a real difference to our health."

The deadline for responses is Oct. 28.

Resource explains practical implications of DOMA, Proposition 8 rulings

While the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community has applauded the Supreme Court of the United States' recent rulings in the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and Proposition 8 cases, many remain confused as to what current government policies the decisions will change.

Lambda Legal, the largest national legal organization dedicated to advancing the civil rights of LGBT people, recently unveiled resources to help those affected by the Supreme Court's rulings in the DOMA and Proposition 8 cases understand their practical implication.

The DOMA FAQ sheet includes answers to questions such as:

  • What about legally married same-sex couples living in a state that does not respect their marriages?
  • What does this mean for legally married same-sex couples living in a state that respects their marriage?
  • Will legally married same-sex couples receive retroactive access to benefits they were previously denied?

The Proposition 8 FAQ sheet includes answers to questions such as:

  • What do we have to do to marry in California?
  • When exactly can same-sex couples in California start getting married again?
  • What happens if we marry in California and later wish to divorce?

The AMA applauds the Supreme Court's decision as a positive step for public health. The AMA filed amicus briefs to the Supreme Court supporting the repeal of DOMA and in opposition to Proposition 8.