Baptist Health is committed to leading by example in addressing health disparities and inequities throughout the communities we serve.
As the largest private employer in Jacksonville, we are committed to leading by example in practicing fairness for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGTBQ+) team members, patients and community members.
Baptist Health joins hundreds of other organizations throughout the country in support of The Equality Act, federal legislation that would provide permanent protections to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, healthcare, housing, education and more. LGBTQ+ people continue to face discrimination, including in some hospitals and other places people go to receive physical and mental health care. Research has shown discrimination negatively impacts the health and well-being of LGBTQ+ people, both physically and mentally:
- LGTBQ+ youth are two to three times more likely to attempt suicide and are more likely to be homeless.
- Lesbians are less likely to get preventive services for cancer.
- Gay and bisexual men are three times more likely than straight men to meet criteria for major depressive disorder.
- Transgender persons have a higher prevalence of HIV and STDs, victimization, and suicide attempts (Fenway Institute).
We know discrimination has no place in our community and is contradictory to our vision of A Lifetime of Health, Together. That’s why we urge the Senate to follow the lead of the House of Representatives and pass the Equality Act to provide consistent and explicit non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ+ people.