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Some gay-rights activists say focus on marriage has undercut advocacy on AIDS and other issues

in UNITED STATES, 20/07/2013

Even as it celebrates victories in the push for same-sex marriage, America’s gay-rights movement is experiencing self-criticism and internal divisions over its approach to other thorny issues. Some activists say the nationwide marriage campaign, while worthwhile, has diverted energy and resources from causes that may be harder to market — such as rights for transgender people and advocacy to combat HIV and AIDS.

“I wish we were spending a little more time working on these other issues and not just making marriage the centerpiece,” said Terry Stone of CenterLink, a nationwide coalition of more than 200 community centers that serve lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people.

Stone said the latest survey of the community centers’ patrons found that their top concerns were anti-gay bullying at schools, transgender rights, HIV and AIDS issues, and the need for more laws against anti-gay discrimination in employment, housing and health care. Legal recognition for same-sex couples was fifth on the list, Stone said.

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