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More help urged for homeless gay youth

By DAVID CRARY, Associated Press

Two national advocacy groups Tuesday accused the federal government of neglecting what they described as an epidemic of homelessness affecting tens of thousands of gay and lesbian youth, many of whom leave home because of conflicts with their parents.

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the National Coalition for the Homeless said gay, lesbian and transgender youth make up at least 20 percent — possibly as much as 40 percent — of the total number of homeless and runaway youth, a fluid population which experts have estimated at 575,000 to 1.6 million each year.

"The national response to this epidemic has been nothing short of disgraceful," Matt Foreman, executive director of the task force, told reporters during a teleconference.

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