Anti-tobacco effort readied

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Youth Advocacy Coalition has received a $100,000 award from the American Legacy Foundation to create a national tobacco working group targeting LGBT, questioning and intersex young adults ages 18-24, a demographic with much greater than average tobacco use. The working group will develop a tobacco needs assessment that will be administered to LGBTQI young adults nationwide this fall and winter. Survey results will be compiled next spring and released along with policy and programmatic recommendations based on the findings.

“Tobacco use continues to be extraordinarily high among LGBTQI young adults and this is happening, in part, because tobacco companies continue to target them,” said Isaiah Webster III, director of communications and special projects for NYAC. “There are sufficient indications that tobacco use is a huge problem within the LGBTQI community, but organizations have always looked for better data. The working group will be able to help organizations tailor tobacco prevention and cessation programs to meet the challenges in their communities.”

Organizations that are interested in participating in either the working group or in administering the survey to young adults, should contact Jennie Beeson, program associate for NAYC, at

LOGO ‘going dark’ for march

NEW YORK, N.Y. — The weekend of Oct. 10 and 11 will find thousands of LGBT and allied Americans in the nation’s capital for the National Equality March, a call to action for LGBT equality. The event’s goal is to reinvigorate the LGBT movement on a national level so participants take their experiences home to their local communities and continue the fight for equal rights.

MTV Networks plans to support the March by participating in a number of events surrounding the weekend. Most notably, LOGO is joining the cause by “going dark” from 11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. EST (the hours concurrent to the March) to emphasize the significance of the gathering. This is the first time in LOGO’s four-year history that the 24/7 channel will not broadcast programming.

“The National Equality March resonates strongly with LOGO’s gay and straight audience because we all expect equality in all aspects of our lives,” said Lisa Sherman, LOGO executive vice president and general manager. “Our unprecedented action of ‘going dark’ underscores the significance of the event.”

DOMA repeal measure introduced

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), chair of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), and Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) have introduced legislation to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

The 13-year-old law singles out legally married same-sex couples for discriminatory treatment under federal law, selectively denying them more than 1,100 federal protections and responsibilities — including Social Security and immigration benefits — that otherwise apply to married couples.

President Obama recently said, “I stand by my long-standing commitment to work with Congress to repeal the so-called Defense of Marriage Act. It’s discriminatory, it interferes with states’ rights, and it’s time we overturned it.”

Minorities hit hard by DADT

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Servicemembers United, the nation’s largest organization of gay and lesbian troops and veterans and their straight allies, has released new data showing that racial and ethnic minorities constituted an unusually large percentage of discharges under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in Fiscal Year 2008. The data was obtained from the Department of Defense through a Freedom of Information Act request.

The DOD discharge data — which included the Army, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Navy — revealed that out of 619 total DADT discharges in FY08 from these services, 279 (or just over 45 percent) were non-white. The Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute, however, reported at the beginning of FY08 that 71 percent of the active duty force was white. The Coast Guard, which did not provide a breakdown of its data, reported discharging another 21 servicemembers under DADT in FY08, bringing the overall number of DADT discharges for all services in FY08 to 640.

Women in the military were also hit especially hard by “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in FY08. While women comprise approximately 15 percent of the armed forces, they made up more than one-third (34 percent) of DOD discharges under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in FY08.

HRC National Dinner details

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Human Rights Campaign has announced some early details for its 13th Annual National Dinner, to be held here October 10. The event will feature the first-ever Edward M. Kennedy National Leadership Award, which will be presented to Judy and Dennis Shepard. The new annual award is named in honor of the late senator who championed the fight for LGBT equality.

Celebrity attendees will include quirky pop music sensation Lady Gaga and the cast of the new FOX hit comedy, “Glee.” Performances for the dinner will be provided by Grammy and Emmy Award-winning singer-songwriter Cyndi Lauper, one of the strongest allies of the LGBT community and past National Equality Award recipient, and two-time Tony Award nominee Gavin Creel, who is currently starring on Broadway in the smash hit revival of “Hair.”

David Stout

David Stout is the associate editor of QNotes. He can be reached at