October 29, 2009

National Resource Center on the way for LGBT seniors

From 365gay.com

The Department of Health and Human Services will establish a national resource center to help communities support and serve their lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) elders.

Through its Administration on Aging, HHS will award a single resource grant in the amount of $250,000 annually, depending on the availability of funds. According to HHS, the center will provide resources to LGBT organizations, as well assisting mainstream aging services providers in developing cultural competence in serving LGBT elders.

“Despite the many advances our community has seen, LGBT elders face significant discrimination from senior care providers, including in places where we are most vulnerable, such as assisted living facilities and end-of-life care,” said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. “As more and more openly LGBT people reach their later years, it is incredibly important to ensure that we are treated with dignity, respect and fairness. We applaud HHS for taking this important step on behalf of older LGBT Americans.”

HRC and Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE) host a collaborative forum on LGBT aging issues, available at www.hrc.org/issues/aging/. As part of the New Beginning Initiative, coordinat ed by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, SAGE has advocated for policy changes that would benefit LGBT elders. Earlier this month, the Administration on Aging issued the first-ever grant focused on LGBT aging to the Los Angeles LGBT Community Service Center.

Of course, the usual suspects from the anti-gay Religious Right have issues with this. From Holy Bullies & Headless Monsters:

Yesterday, the Family Research Council spoke out against Obama Administration plans to create a national resource center for lgbt seniors:

HHS has no idea how many LGBT seniors exist. No one does! The movement is only a few decades old, and people who are 80- or 90-years-old didn't grow up in a culture where it was acceptable to identify with this lifestyle.

Of course, the real tragedy here--apart from the unnecessary spending--is that, given the risks of homosexual conduct, few of these people are likely to live long enough to become senior citizens! Yet once again, the Obama administration is rushing to reward a lifestyle that poses one of the greatest public health risks in America.

These people no longer have a direct line to the White House, and statements like this are a reminder how important it is for LGBT rights to keep it that way.

No comments:

Post a Comment