California considers senior LGBT Bill of Rights

A California legislator has introduced a bill to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) seniors against discrimination.

The California LGBT Seniors Long-Term Care Bill of Rights, SB-219, would strengthen protections for LGBT seniors in living in skilled nursing facilities, immediate care facilities and residential care facilities.

“They deserve to age with dignity and respect, and that means making sure our long-term care facilities have culturally competent policies and procedures in place,” said Senator Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, who introduced the legislation, in a press release. “We need to ensure that our laws embrace their reality. While LGBT seniors face many of the same challenges that all seniors face, they also face unique challenges around discrimination, health and potential lack of family support systems.”

The bill would protect seniors from discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or HIV status. That includes a facility refusing to use a resident’s preferred name or pronoun, denying admission to a long-term care facility, transferring a resident within a facility or to another facility based on anti-LGBT attitudes of other residents or evicting or involuntarily discharging a resident from a facility on the basis of a person’s actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression or HIV status.

The bill also requires LTC facilities post a notice about SB 219 next to the state’s current non-discrimination policy.

Wiener helped pass a similar law for San Francisco in 2015 while he served on the city’s Board of Supervisors. 

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