FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 26, 2013
Contact: Meico Whitlock, 202-434-8094, www.NASTAD.org
Supreme Court Decisions on California’s Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) Represent Tremendous Progress for Gay Men’s Health Equity; Still Much Work to Do to Achieve Full Equality for People of All Races, Ethnicities and Sexual Orientations
Washington, DC – Today’s Supreme Court rulings on California’s Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) align with NASTAD’s ongoing efforts to address health equity among gay men and other men who have sex with men (MSM) of all races and ethnicities. The National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS) and NASTAD’s policy statement on gay men/MSM both stress the importance of reducing stigma related to HIV/AIDS, and routinizing HIV care as a part of overall health care. NASTAD’s work in reducing the stigma faced by gay men/MSM, and addressing structural barriers that lead to poor health outcomes among gay men/MSM are significantly advanced by a social recognition that same-sex unions are valuable and worth codifying.
“These opinions represent an extraordinary development for the rights of LGBT people in the United States. As our society comes to value more and more the love of same-sex couples, gay men, in particular, will begin to see their lives affirmed and take an even more proactive approach to safeguarding their health, and the health of their communities.” noted NASTAD’s Executive Director, Julie Scofield. “This approach is exactly what we need to eradicate stigma and turn the tide of the HIV epidemic among gay men. While we continue a steady march towards equality in the U.S., there’s a great deal more work to do to achieve health equity for people of all races, ethnicities and sexual orientations.”
Today’s rulings can be leveraged by public health professionals as we enter a public enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) later this year; and for certain, today’s news positively impacts one of the key social determinants to gay men’s health.
The National Alliance of State & Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD), founded in 1992, is a nonprofit national association of state and territorial health department HIV/AIDS program directors who have programmatic responsibility for administering HIV/AIDS, viral hepatitis and associated public health programs. NASTAD works to strengthen the role and promote the success of state and territorial public health programs in the U.S. and internationally. For more information, visit www.NASTAD.org.