Gay and Lesbian Connection

Support and Acceptance for the Gay and Lesbian Community

Archive for September, 2009

Best Companies for LGBT Benefits

September 22nd, 2009 by Admin

Here’s a list of companies recognized for earning a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index survey, a national rating that grades Fortune 500 companies and national law firms on their LGBT efforts.

In order for companies to earn a perfect score, they must offer benefits to same-sex partners of employees, and have a nondiscrimination policy that includes protection for transgender employees. Companies must also offer domestic-partner health benefits as well as house an LGBT employee-resource group or a diversity council and engage in appropriate and respectful advertising and marketing.

Johnson & Johnson

AT&T

Ernst & Young

Marriott International

PricewaterhouseCoopers

Sodexo

Kaiser Permanente

Merck & Co.

The Coca-Cola Co.

IBM Corp.

Procter & Gamble

American Express

Bank of America

JPMorgan Chase

Cox Communications

Accenture

PepsiCo

Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp.

KPMG

Health Care Service Corp.

Capital One Financial Corp.

Ford Motor Co.

Wells Fargo & Co.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida

Deloitte

HSBC - North America

Xerox Corp.

Monsanto Co.

Time Warner Cable

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide

Toyota Motor North America

MasterCard Worldwide

Cummins

MetLife

Prudential Financial

SC Johnson

General Mills

Aetna

KeyBank

 

Automatic Data Processing

BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina

Bright Horizons Family Solutions

Chrysler

Cisco Systems

Citi

Dell

Fannie Mae

General Motors Corp.. HP

Macy’s

Microsoft Corp.

Sprint

Target Corp.

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Sexual Orientation Can’t Be Changed

September 18th, 2009 by Admin

Last month, the American Psychological Association passed a resolution advising mental health professionals against telling their clients they can change their sexual orientation through therapy or other treatments. The APA concluded that there is no solid evidence that such efforts work, and cite some studies that suggest trying to change someone’s sexual orientation has the potential for harm. 

 Our sexual orientation can’t be changed.  We are who we are.   Isn’t it time to accept each other?

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Defense of Marriage Act

September 16th, 2009 by Admin

There was an interesting article in the Orlando Sentinel today about the fact that the gay partner of a gay person who loses his or her job is not entitled to COBRA protection regardless of whether or not the state they live in accepts gay marriage or civil unions.  I always thought of the federal COBRA program as a health-care safety net for all American families if the breadwinner lost his or her job.  But apparently that doesn’t apply to gay couples.

Basically COBRA (the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act) provides for a laid-off or terminated employee, and his or her family, to still obtain health insurance at group rates for up to 18 months, which gives the terminated employee a fairly long time to get a new job and new health insurance through their new employer. 

Unfortunately, thanks to DOMA (the Defense of Marriage Act),  the federal government doesn’t recognize same-sex unions, which eliminates gay couples from COBRA. While COBRA excludes unmarried heterosexual couples, the provision is more onerous on gays because they don’t have the option of getting married.

Despite the growing number of companies and local governments that have extended domestic partner benefits to gay couples, the federal government continues to discriminate against gays and lesbians through DOMA.

With all the talk about a new health care system, is it possible that the administration can fix this discriminatory practice especially now when unemployment approaches 10 % .  Or will we have to wait years until DOMA is repealed?  Hope this is on somebody’s radar in Washington D.C.

 

 

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Suicide Prevention for Gay Youth

September 14th, 2009 by Admin

LGBTQ youth are up to four times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers. National Suicide Prevention Week will come and go this year. Unfortunately, for many LGBTQ young people, thoughts of depression, feelings of isolation and helplessness or hopelessness will not. As they yearn to simply be accepted and supported, we must advocate for places, programs and policies that prioritize their safety and well-being. 

For more information Read A Preventable Epidemic–Thought for National Suicide Prevention week @ http://bit.ly/glZue

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The Laramie Project–10 Years Later

September 8th, 2009 by Admin

The Laramie Project —10 Years Later will debut in more than 100 theaters in all 50 states and seven countries Oct. 12, the 11th anniversary of Matthew Shepard’s death. The sequel to the play about the murder is based on new interviews with people in Laramie and with Aaron McKinney, one of two men convicted in the killing.  Matthew’s mother, Judy Shepard says she became “a mom on a mission,” working for hate-crime legislation, began a tour to promote her book, The Meaning of Matthew: My Son’s Murder in Laramie, and a World Transformed. 

The Matthew Shepard Act would extend federal protections to people victimized because of sexual orientation. 

Source: USA Today

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Gay Rights

September 6th, 2009 by Admin

Actress Patricia Clarkson, a passionate and outspoken advocate for LGBT equality, recently posed a challenge to all Americans to stand up for gay rights, and once and for all, “call an injustice, an injustice.”

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Gay Pride

September 5th, 2009 by Admin

 Here’s a wonderful quote from Rachel Maddow:                                                                                                                  ”I do have one problem with Gay Pride, which is that in every Gay Pride I’ve ever been to, there’s the PFLAG contingent, where the parents walk past with the signs that say ‘I love my gay [child].’ I don’t cry. I dissolve. I’m a mess for an hour and can’t do anything else and have to go home.” 

 

Category: PFLAG, Pride | No Comments »

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