In 2014, the Equal Rights Center sent New Jersey couples to seek housing in age-restricted communities, and found that in 40 percent of the tests, the same-sex couples were treated less favorably than the heterosexual couples. The LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) tester was told of fewer available apartments and additional required fees.
According to Montclair Local, the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination prohibits discrimination on the basis of several characteristics, including gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation in all places of public accommodation.
“This means it would be illegal for a facility to deny access to a same-sex couple on that basis. However, discrimination still happens, and it can be difficult to prove,” said Aaron Potenza, attorney for Garden State Equality in Montclair.
For LGBT seniors who don’t have family or children to care for them in their golden years, finding assisted-living housing can be hard. Finding senior housing that is welcoming to same-sex couples who want to continue to co-habitate is even harder, said Bianca Mayes, Health and Wellness Coordinator of Garden State Equality.
AARP’s recent survey on the LGBT’s aging-related concern revealed older LGBT adults worry most about having adequate family and other social support to rely on as they age, discrimination in long-term care facilities and access to LGBT-sensitive services for seniors. Black and Latino LGBT adults report the greatest concern about future family and social supports, and greater worry about potential abuse in these facilities because of their race and sexual orientation/gender identity.
Read the full story at Montclair Local.