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New CDC Report: LGB Youth Face ‘Heartbreaking’ Level of Risk for Violence, Suicide Attempt, Bullying

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New Data From the CDC Show the Need for Fully Comprehensive Support for LGB Students

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released a startling new national report on Thursday on the health risks lesbian, gay, and bisexual high school students face, including violence, bullying, suicide attempt, depression, and drug and alcohol use. The study, which was conducted between September 2014 and December 2015, shows that “significant health disparities exist between sexual-minority and non sexual-minority youth.”

In 2015 the CDC added two new questions to the National Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS), which keeps track of certain health-risk behaviors and allowed for this new, LGB-specific data to be collected. The behaviors tracked by the YRBS are those that “contribute to unintentional injuries and violence; sexual behaviors related to unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV infection; alcohol and other drug use; tobacco use, unhealthy dietary behaviors; and inadequate physical activity.”

Dr. Jonathan Mermin, a senior official at the CDC told The New York Times, “I found the numbers heartbreaking.”

Some of the most startling findings from the report were released in a “Dear Colleagues” letter from the CDC:

•More than 40% of LGB students seriously considered suicide and 29% reported attempting suicide in the past year.

•Sixty percent of LGB students reported having been so sad or hopeless that they stopped doing some usual activities.

•LGB students were up to 5 times more likely than other students to report using several illegal drugs.

•More than 1 in 10 LGB students have missed school during the past 30 days because of safety concerns.

Across the board, the risks faced by lesbian, gay, and bisexual students were higher than those of their non-LGB peers. 18% of LGB students report being forced to have sex (5% of non-LGB); 23% of LGB students report being victims of sexual violence (9% non-LGB) and 34% being bullied online or in school (19% non-LGB).

“The intensity of homophobic attitudes and acceptance of gay-related victimization, as well as the ongoing silence around adolescent sexuality, marginalizes a whole group of young people,” Dr. Elizabeth Miller, the chief of adolescent and young adult medicine at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, told the Times. That marginalization increases their vulnerability to exploitative and violent relationships.”

The report continues on to show an elevated risk of unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, along with “stigma, discrimination, family disapproval, and social rejection.” While the report admits there are not enough data to fully compare health-risk behaviors of sexual-minority youth to non-sexual minority youth, it is clear that LGB youth still face incredible hurdles and even dangers on a daily basis. Findings also show the need for comprehensive support for LGB youth that spans families, organizations, and schools to create safe and healthy resources.

The full report can be viewed here.

 

Image by Sam T via Flickr and a CC license

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BREAKING NEWS

Just 9 Republicans Joined Democrats to Uphold the Rule of Law and Vote to Hold Steve Bannon in Criminal Contempt

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Only nine House Republicans joined with every Democrat in voting to hold Trump ally Steve Bannon in criminal contempt of Congress. Thursday afternoon’s final vote was 229-202.

Bannon refused to obey a lawful congressional subpoena ordering him to hand over documents and to submit to congressional investigators for a deposition. His legal defense was mocked by experts after he tried to invoke executive privilege.

Minority Whip Steve Scalise had directed House Republicans to vote against the motion.

Top voting rights attorney Marc Elias warns against praising the nine Republicans for doing the right thing in this one instance: “all nine of them voted against voting rights legislation,” he tweeted.

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News

‘Act of War’: Trump Blasted for ‘Chilling’ Statement Calling Election an ‘Insurrection’

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Donald Trump, the twice-impeached former president, on Thursday issued what is being called a “chilling” statement on the election and the insurrection he incited.

“The insurrection took place on November 3, Election Day. January 6 was the Protest!” Trump said in a statement released Thursday afternoon.

Former Republican Congressman Joe Walsh simply and clearly calls it an “act of war.”

U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA) during debate on the House floor has “repeatedly” been “calling on Republicans to denounce the Trump statement,” according to reporter Jamie Dupree.

“All my colleagues were elected on November 3,” McGovern said. “If you believe that Election Day was an insurrection, then your election results are illegitimate.”

McGovern is not the only one to blast the Trump statement:

Some journalists are also slamming the former president’s latest remarks.

S.V. Dáte, the White House correspondent at HuffPost weighed in, saying, “Donald Trump tried to overthrow American democracy after he lost his election by 7 million votes, but nearly a year later, he’s still lying. About all of it.”

Washington Post national political reporter Felicia Sonmez called it a “chilling statement … that makes clear his stance on peaceful democracy vs. violent insurrection.”

Washington Post White House bureau chief Ashley Parker pointed to the statement and said: “In which Trump’s shamelessness continues to be his political super power.”

ProPublica Senior Reporter Peter Elkind says: “This is the position of the widely embraced leader of the GOP. Republicans all behind that?”

More:

 

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Watch: Garland Destroys GOP Congressman’s False Suggestion His School Board Memo Calls Parents Terrorists

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U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland Thursday morning was forced to respond to repeated Republican false claims about his memo directing the DOJ to hold “discussions” with local leaders about threats of violence made against school board members, and several times had to push back hard against false accusations made by GOP Congressmen.

Franklin Graham, Stephen Miller, and countless others on the right for weeks have been falsely claiming that Garland has ordered DOJ to investigate parents merely for opposing school board decisions, mostly on mask mandates and what they claim is “critical race theory.”

U.S. Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH) on Wednesday during a Judiciary Committee hearing falsely suggested Garland was calling parents’ challenging school boards domestic terrorists.

“One example of a so-called terrorist incident was a parent, merely questioning whether school board members had earned their high school diplomas. Now that might have been rude, but does that seem like an act of domestic terrorism that you or your Justice Department ought to be investigating?” Chabot asked.

“Absolutely not,” Garland replied. “And I want to be clear the Justice Department supports and defends the First Amendment right of parents to complain as vociferously as they wish, about the education of their children, about the curriculum taught in the schools. That is not what the memorandum is about at all, nor does it use the words ‘domestic terrorism’ or ‘Patriot Act.’ Like you, I can’t imagine any circumstance in which the Patriot Act would be used in the circumstances of parents complaining about their children, nor can I imagine a circumstance where they would be labeled as domestic terrorism.”

As NCRM has previously reported, school board members and educators in at least nine states this year have been targeted with threats, death threats, and often racist death threats, including in Virginia, Arizona, Connecticut, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Vermont, according to local news reports.

Ironically, it was Congressman Chabot who, a decade ago, was legitimately accused of violating the First Amendment when his staffers directed local police to confiscate video cameras at the Congressman’s town hall event, held in a public school.

Chabot, ruffled and rebuffed by Garland’s response, decided to end the inquiry there.

“Thank you I’m nearly out of time.”

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