As the number of lesbian, gay and bisexual people aged 65+ in the United States is predicted to double to around 3 million by 2030, many LGBT seniors today report fear of housing discrimination—and there aren’t currently laws to prevent it.
Recent legislation introduced in Ohio aims to address the issue by banning discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The Dayton Daily News reported this week on the legislation and its proponents.
Many LGBT elders are afraid to “come out of the closet” to medical providers, nurses and other seniors who share their living facilities because they fear they will be judged or discriminated against, said Hilary Meyer, the director of the National Resource Center on LGBT Aging, a project of SAGE.
Some employees in nursing homes and home health aides that serve LGBT elders have mistreated their clients because they disagree with their lifestyles, Meyer said.
LGBT adults are also twice as likely to live alone compared to heterosexual adults, and at least one study indicated they are five times less likely to access health and social services they need out of fear of discrimination, according to SAGE. A survey of 24 federal area agencies on aging showed that about half of respondents found that LGBT seniors would not be welcome at their centers and very few of them offered services specifically tailored to members of that population, SAGE said.
The bill, House Bill 335, is currently pending Committee assignment, according to the website of Ohio State Rep. Ross McGregor (R-Springfield), one of the representatives to introduce the bill.
Read the full article on Dayton Daily News.
Written by Elizabeth Ecker