Yesterday’s filing by GLAD before the Maine Human Rights Commission, challenging a long-term care facility’s refusal to admit a transgender elder, underscores the need for Congress to pass comprehensive LGBTQ+ civil rights protections. No one should be refused care because of who they are or whom they love. It is past time to pass the Equality Act, which would explicitly bar discrimination against LGBTQ+ elders and others in housing, employment, public spaces, jury service, credit, and federally funded programs. Thankfully, LGBTQ+ elders in Maine are protected under state law and we believe that GLAD’s client will get justice. However, LGBTQ+ older people remain at risk in the 28 states that do not have legal protections from discrimination. We call on Senator Collins and Senator King to help ensure that LGBTQ+ elders across the nation have the same access to civil rights protections as they do in Maine.
SAGE is the world’s largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) older people. Founded in 1978 and headquartered in New York City, SAGE is a national organization that offers supportive services and consumer resources to LGBTQ+ older people and their caregivers. SAGE also advocates for public policy changes that address the needs of LGBTQ+ elders, provides education and technical assistance for aging providers and LGBTQ+ community organizations through its National Resource Center on LGBTQ+ Aging, and cultural competency training through SAGECare. With staff located across the country, SAGE also coordinates SAGENet, a growing network of affiliates in the United States. Learn more at sageusa.org.