Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 11 / 15 March 2018

Governor signs Wiener’s LGBT seniors bill

Photo residents of Stonewall Garden

A new California law will help LGBT seniors and other residents of longterm-care facilities throughout the state, such as the above residents of Stonewall Gardens, an LGBT-affirming senior assisted living community in Palm Springs.

Governor Jerry Brown on Wednesday signed into law gay Senator Scott Wiener’s (D-San Francisco) Senate Bill 219, which is meant to create an LGBT Senior Bill of Rights for people who live in long-term care facilities.

“Our LGBT seniors built the modern LGBT community and led the fight for so many of the rights our community takes for granted today,” Wiener said in a statement. “It is our duty to make sure they can age with the dignity and respect they deserve. I want to thank Governor Brown for joining our coalition in supporting this bill, which will make a real difference in people’s lives. The LGBT Senior Bill of Rights is an important step in our fight to ensure all people are treated equally regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.”

The law aims to protect LGBT seniors from discrimination in long-term care facilities, such as a facility refusing to use someone’s preferred name or pronoun, or moving someone within a facility or to another facility because of other residents’ LGBT attitudes.

Additionally, SB 219 requires that all long-term care facilities post notices regarding this form of discrimination where their current non-discrimination policies are posted.

Equality California sponsored the bill, which was co-authored by Assemblymembers David Chiu (D-San Francisco), Sabrina Cervantes (D-Corona), Todd Gloria (D-San Diego), and Ash Kalra (D-San Jose.)

EQCA Executive Director Rick Zbur said in a statement, “LGBTQ seniors fought some of the first and most difficult battles for LGBTQ civil rights and deserve our protection. Many of our elders have no children or other family members to care for them and are especially vulnerable to abuse or neglect in long-term care. SB 219 will help ensure that care facilities provide culturally-competent care.”

— Seth Hemmelgarn, October 4, 2017 @ 3:10 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

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