Health Care Access and Coverage for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Community in the United States: Opportunities and Challenges in a New Era

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Feb 21, 2014 | Jennifer Kates and Usha Ranji 

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By many measures, societal acceptance and support of LGBT rights in the United States have increased significantly in the last decade, especially in the last couple of years.  Perhaps most notably has been the increase in public support for legalization of same-sex marriage, as well as gains in legal recognition, including the June 2013 Supreme Court decision which overturned a major portion of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), resulting in federal recognition of same-sex marriage in the U.S.

At the same time, however, a majority of states continue to impose bans on same-sex marriage and most offer no protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity in the areas of employment and housing, and many LGBT individuals report having experienced some form of discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.  Ongoing discrimination, violence, and stigma compromise access to needed health services by LGBT individuals.

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