Michelle Kosilek

GLBT News Odds and Ends: Inmates, Portland Cakes, and LGBT Smoking

The First Circuit Court of Appeals in a 2-1 ruling upheld a 2012 decision that classifies gender-confirming surgeries as necessary medical care. As such, transgendered inmates should have access to this care due to the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment.

The refusal by a Portland, Oregon area bakery to refuse to bake a cake for a woman’s same sex wedding violated their civil rights according to the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries. If the parties cannot reach a settlement on their own through a conciliation process, the labor department may have to step in and pursue charges.

Smoking stats are alarmingly high for the LGBT community. According to a recent Surgeon General’s report, the LGBT community spends $7.9 billion annually on cigarettes. One-third of the LGBT population smokes cigarettes, a rate 68% higher than the US population as a whole. Perhaps most surprisingly, this level of spending is 65 times higher than the money spent on all pro-equality LGBT issues , according to The Advocate. The full report can be found here.

A recent British study finds that same-sex couples are happier than heterosexual couples. Further, the study found that couples without children reported having higher levels of satisfaction with their relationship than those with kids. However, this happiness did not translate into public affection, as the same study found that same-sex couples were less likely to show and more likely to be uncomfortable with public affection due to perceived societal constraints.

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