How We Can Help LGBT Youth Have Healthier Futures

Public policies can reduce harms to the health of LGBT youth.

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As marriage equality continues to advance in the states and before the Supreme Court, policymakers are increasingly demonstrating an interest in lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender, or LGBT, families and how marriage equality can impact the health of children.Experts recognize that “it is in the best interest of children that they be able to partake in the security of permanent nurturing and care that comes with the civil marriage of their parents, without regard to their parents’ gender or sexual orientation.”

Despite the fact that our current focus is mostly on marriage equality and relationship recognition, there is much more to the story than that. Bullying, family rejection, and homelessness are also real threats to the health and well-being of LGBT young people. Every day, thousands of LGBT youth in the United States face injustice in schools, danger in their homes, or uncertainty on the streets.

But these threats are not inevitable, and they are not unstoppable. Policies and programs that have been proposed in Congress can help reduce the devastating impact of these dangers to LGBT youth and they are the key to ensuring that these children and young adults can grow up free of the discrimination and danger that currently threaten them.

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