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Surprising Study Finds Gay, Bi Teens More Likely To Get Pregnant Than Straight Peers

Juno

A study survey of 10,000 New York City teens over the course of three years revealed that gay and bisexual teens are twice as likely to get pregnant over their heterosexual peers reports nydailynews.com. The survey study conducted through the Center for Disease Control measured sexual orientation in two different ways: how an individual behaves sexually and how an individual labels their sexuality. 

The study found that women who identify as bisexual or lesbian, along with women who chose not to label their sexuality but admitted to sleeping with men and women, were more likely to experience a pregnancy than the 14.3 percent of heterosexual female students and 10.8 percent of heterosexual male students who experience one. The same results apply to men who identify as gay, bisexual or admit to sleeping with both men and women. 

It's unclear why the rates are higher among LGB youth however, the possibility of LGB youth hiding their true orientations through entering heterosexual relationships combined with a lack of proper sexual education is listed as a possible reason for the higher LGB youth pregnancy rate.


Lindsey Graham Prematurely Spills His 2016 Presidential Plans

No need to wait till June 1 for the official announcement, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is already pretty much a go for 2016, The Washington Post reports:

Graham"I will make an announcement on June 1st. You're all invited to come -- spend money when you do -- and I will tell you what I’m going to do about running for president," Graham said on CBS "This Morning."

Although Graham initially declined to say if he is running when asked by the CBS hosts, he nonetheless indicated he is pursuing the GOP nomination – potentially declaring his candidacy ahead of schedule.

"I'm running because of what you see on television. I'm running because I think the world is falling apart. I've been more right than wrong on foreign policy," Graham said. "It's not the fault of others, their lack of this or that that makes me want to run. It’s my ability in my own mind to be a good commander in chief and to make Washington work. “

Earlier this month, Graham told the Boston Herald that society and the nation must "move forward" if the Supreme Court legalizes same-sex marriage nationwide. 


HRC Warns 12 States ‘Don’t Repeat The Mistakes Of Indiana' In New Media Campaign

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The Human Rights Coalition launched a new ad campaign asking 12 state governors to reject bills that target LGBT people like the one Gov. Mike Pence passed in Indiana. HRC's new campaign comes after a study conducted by the organization yielded results stating that a majority of Hoosiers believe Pence’s bill is damaging Indiana’s economy. JoDee Winterhof, HRC's vice president for policy and political affairs, warned of the repercussions states could endure if they follow Pence’s example.

Said Winterhof:

"Gov. Mike Pence found that experimenting with anti-LGBT bills that allow businesses to discriminate killed his approval ratings and damaged the Hoosier economy. Governors who go down the same path as Mike Pence and put their state economy at risk in an attempt to further discrimination are going to find themselves at risk of being rejected by the voters."

The results of HRC's study reflects Winterhof's warning as a majority of voters (70% to 24%) believe that businesses should not discriminate against people based on sexual orientation or identity. Surprisingly a majority of Republican voters (58% to 36%) concur. Pence’s approval ratings have since plummeted, allowing for a potential Democratic challenger to make gains in the state. HRC's media campaign officially began today on social media in Alabama, Indiana, Louisiana, Florida, New Hampshire, Michigan, Missouri, North Dakota, North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio and Texas. Although Pence attempted to clarify that official language in the new law would prevent LGBT discrimination, HRC isn’t buying it, noting that the state’s laws are still devoid of any clear LGBT anti-discrimination laws that would grant full protections to LGBT people in the state.


Trans Teen's Lawsuit Prompts South Carolina DMV to Change Driver's License Photo Policy

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A transgender teen who filed a federal lawsuit last September against South Carolina’s Department of Motor Vehicles for sex discrimination and violating free speech won her case reports NPR.org. Chase Culpepper, 17, filed the suit after DMV officials told her to remove her mascara and eye shadow before taking her driver’s license photo, arguing with her that her cosmetics was a "disguise."

Screen Shot 2015-04-24 at 8.14.20 AMThe department claimed that a 2009 rule prohibits applicants from "purposely altering his or her appearance so that the photo would misrepresent his or her identity." Culpepper filed a lawsuit in response to the Spring 2014 incident calling the policy "unconstitutionally vague and overbroad" and arguing it allowed DMV officials to make "arbitrary and capricious" decisions based on the department’s personal biases regarding gender presentation.

The Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund, a New York-based group backing Culpepper, helped reach a settlement in the case, with South Carolina’s DMV agreeing to change its policy to allow applicants to be photographed as they are regardless of officials’ expectations of what they think applicants should look like. The department also promised Culpepper an apology letter and intends on training employees on how to treat transgender and gender non-conforming individuals. Culpepper announced she is pleased with the results of the settlement.

Said Culpepper:

"I am thrilled with the outcome of my lawsuit. My clothing and makeup reflect who I am. From day one, all I wanted was to get a driver's license that looks like me. Now I will be able to do that. It was hurtful to be singled out for being transgender and made to feel that somehow I wasn’t good enough."

The new department policies go into effect in May; Culpepper intends on taking her new driver’s license photo then with her makeup on. Since Culpepper’s win, the Transgender Defense and Education Fund received several similar requests for legal representation and support after the news of Culpepper’s successful case spread reports The Los Angeles Times. The advocacy group is currently in negotiations with West Virginia’s DMV after three transgender women reported that the department ordered the women to remove wigs and fake eyelashes before having their driver’s license photos taken.

 


South Carolina GOP Calls for Constitutional Amendment Banning Same-sex Marriage Nationwide

A South Carolina Senate subcommittee yesterday passed a resolution calling for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would ban same-sex marriageThe Post and Courier reports.

579937_10151388495470369_718529837_n Resolution S 0031 reads in part:

"That the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina hereby applies to Congress, under the provisions of Article V of the Constitution of the United States, for the calling of a convention of the states limited to proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States establishing that marriage in the United States shall consist only of a man and woman; and further stating that neither the United States Constitution, nor the constitution of any state, shall be construed to require that marriage or legal incidents thereof be conferred upon any union other than the union of a man and a woman.

Resolution co-sponsor, Republican Larry Grooms (right) said:

“It has to do with the propagation of our species. It is what is in the best interest of our species. Now we’re told through a federal judge that now we have to change that. It throws out of kilter all of our laws that have been based on the foundation of [marriage between a] man and a woman.”

GOP State Senator Lee Bright added that federal judges who have made same-sex marriage legal should be impeached while subcommittee Chairman Shane Massey said “marriage is one man and one woman, and I believe that’s the way it’s been in the history of mankind up until the last 15 years.”

The resolution was opposed by the two Democrats on the subcommittee.

The measure was passed onto the Senate Judiciary committee, where it is thought likely to pass. 

[h/t NCRM]


South Carolina Christian College Bans Homosexuality After Two Athletes Courageously Come Out

Juan Varona Erskine College

Erskine College, South Carolina has banned homosexuality after volleyball players Drew Davis and Juan Varona (above) came out last year.

OutSports reports that although Davis and Varona found support from their teammates, a statement from the college is likely to drive “a no-gays policy at the school and create an atmosphere where LGBT people do not feel safe.”

The February 20th “Statement on Human Sexuality” reads in part:

Erskine“We believe the Bible teaches that all sexual activity outside the covenant of marriage is sinful and therefore ultimately destructive to the parties involved. As a Christian academic community, and in light of our institutional mission, members of the Erskine community are expected to follow the teachings of scripture concerning matters of human sexuality and institutional decisions will be made in light of this position.”

Varona told OutSports that the statement “makes me disappointed because I have never received anything but kind treatment from everyone at this school, and my sexual orientation is no secret.”

He added:

"I feel that in the time that we are living right now, where even in the conservative state of South Carolina same-sex marriage is legal, the school took several steps back instead of progressing towards a future where everyone can be treated as an equal, which is a future most of the country is moving towards.

"I understand the religious stand on adultery, which is part of the Ten Commandments in the Bible, and that would apply to heterosexual and homosexual people. But when I saw the mention of sexual orientation being an issue, it just made me sad and worried for other gay people who might be struggling with confidence to come out."


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