SAGE: Advocacy & Services for LGBT Elders
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For Immediate Release

January 18, 2018

LGBT Elders Among Those Targeted for Discrimination in Healthcare

Healthcare workers allowed to refuse treatment under new Health and Human Services division

[New York, NY] The following statement is attributable to SAGE CEO Michael Adams:

“Today’s announcement by the Trump administration -- allowing healthcare providers to deny LGBT and especially transgender patients and others critical care in the name of religion -- is a horrifying next step in its coordinated effort to allow discrimination on religious grounds. Our federal government is creating a dystopian world in which it places the rights of those who discriminate over the care of people. 

This is particularly alarming for older LGBT people, especially those who are trans, considering that 85 percent of nonprofit long-term care providers in the United States are religiously affiliated, which is highlighted in SAGE’s recent “Dignity Denied: Religious Exemptions and LGBT Elder Services" report and in our amicus brief in the Masterpiece Cake case.

It is unimaginable for LGBT elders, at this time in their lives, to be refused the care they need and deserve. Everyone has the freedom, under the first amendment, to practice their religion, but when deep morals or religious convictions overshadow the responsibility to provide care to sick and dying people, it is dangerous for our nation.”

SAGE is the country's largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) older adults. Founded in 1978 and headquartered in New York City, SAGE is a national organization that advocates for public policy changes that address the needs of LGBT older people. SAGE also offers supportive services and consumer resources to LGBT older adults and their caregivers, provides education and technical assistance for aging providers and LGBT organizations through its National Resource Center on LGBT Aging, and cultural competence training through SAGECare. With staff located across the country, SAGE coordinates a growing network of affiliates across the country. Learn more at

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