Sean Cahill

Sean Cahill

Director of Health Policy Research at the Fenway Institute

Sean Cahill, Ph.D., is Director of Health Policy Research at the Fenway Institute. He teaches public policy at New York University and political science at Northeastern University. Cahill serves on the Massachusetts Commission on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Youth. Cahill led policy research at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy Institute from 1999 to 2007, and led policy research and prevention efforts at Gay Men's Health Crisis from 2007 to 2011. Cahill is coauthor, with Harvey Makadon, of "Sexual orientation and gender identity data collection in clinical settings and in Electronic Health Records: A key to ending LGBT health disparities," in LGBT Health (September 2013). He is coauthor, with Jason Cianciotto, of LGBT Youth in America's Schools (2012, University of Michigan Press).

Moving Toward LGBT Equality in Public Policy

Sean Cahill will give an overview of the public policy landscape on LGBT issues. Significant advances toward LGBT equality will be a key legacy of the Obama Administration. In addition to marriage equality, the end of the military ban and hate crimes legislation, Cahill will describe key policy changes that get less attention but that are significantly improving LGBT people's lives: same-sex spousal recognition under immigration and other federal policies, federal housing nondiscrimination protections, initiatives to ensure LGBT elders access affirming senior services, and the Affordable Care Act, which is disproportionately benefitting LGBT people and people living with HIV. Steps to expand data collection on sexual orientation and gender identity in surveys and health care settings will also be addressed.

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Understanding Advances Toward Full LGBT Equality (and What It Means For You)

Understanding Advances Toward Full LGBT Equality (and What It Means For You) with Sean Cahill The movement for equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people is one of the most successful in recent history. In the U.S., even though LGBT people and same-sex couple families experience inequality and exclusion in a wide range of state and federal policy arenas, significant policy advances have occurred. These include the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, the adoption of transgender nondiscrimination laws in 16 states, the extension of marriage equality in 13 states, and support for same-sex marriage by President Obama, the Democratic Party, a growing minority of Republicans, and the U.S. Supreme Court.

This workshop examines the history of urban LGBT communities in the U.S. since the 1920s, and the pro- and anti-gay political forces that coalesced in the late 1940s and emerged onto the national stage in the 1960s and early 1970s. We will look at the incredible successes of LGBT rights activism in the U.S. and globally, and the treatment of LGBT people in several policy areas, including family recognition, elder issues, youth policy, and health policy. Group projects will grapple with key policy discussions currently underway, such as how to increase collection of sexual orientation and gender identity data in clinical settings and on health and demographic surveys, and how to implement pre-exposure chemoprophylaxis for HIV prevention with gay and bisexual men and transgender women. We will also examine debates within the U.S. LGBT movement between progressives/liberals and conservatives, look at gay voting behavior, analyze trends in public opinion toward LGBT issues, and examine the status of LGBT people around the world and in global policy and funding bodies.

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