Earlier this month, the National Institutes of Health announced the “formal designation of sexual and gender minorities (SGMs) as a health disparity population for NIH research.”
The term SGM encompasses lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender populations, as well as those whose sexual orientation, gender identity and expressions, or reproductive development varies from traditional, societal, cultural, or physiological norms.
Mounting evidence indicates that SGM populations have less access to health care and higher burdens of certain diseases, such as depression, cancer, and HIV/AIDS. But the extent and causes of health disparities are not fully understood, and research on how to close these gaps is lacking.
This news did not sit well with Religious Right activist and Colorado state Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt, who said on his “Pray In Jesus Name” show on Friday that this announcement amounts to giving “bonus pay” to LGBT people for contracting diseases.
“I always worry a little bit when they say these people are under-served because what that means is they’re going to start pouring out more government handouts to people who behave a certain way,” Klingenschmitt said. “So now they’re going to get bonus pay to treat the diseases which they bring on due to their behavior. Your taxpayer dollars at work, I can see that coming soon.”