LGBT elders threatened by Administration’s license to discriminate
Today, President Trump issued an Executive Order that dangerously sets the table for future government-supported religious discrimination against LGBT people, especially our elders. This Executive Order gives Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a long-time opponent of LGBT equality, sweeping discretion to authorize religious-based discrimination in all federal agencies, threatening a dramatic expansion of religious exemptions in federally funded services and programs. It would also allow religious organizations lobbying for the right to discriminate a different set of rules that favor them. SAGE is one of many secular non-profits that opposes discrimination and will now be forced to operate on an unfair playing field.
SAGE CEO Michael Adams states: “Anti-LGBT religious leaders and denominations are aggressively lobbying the federal government to authorize religious-based discrimination against LGBT people, including elders who rely on federally funded services. SAGE was founded to fight that discrimination, which LGBT elders face every day. We will do everything in our power to fight efforts by the Trump Administration to facilitate religious-based discrimination against our older community members, who have fought for decades for the equality that we have gradually won.”
Given the history of religion-based anti-LGBT teachings, LGBT elders have every reason to be deeply concerned by the Trump Administration’s attempt to favor religious voices over all others. Tragically, religious-based discrimination too often forces LGBT elders who need care and services back into “the closet” in order to protect themselves from mistreatment.
This forced self-erasure of LGBT elders, combined with a recent Trump Administration plan to erase LGBT elders from a critically important federal survey on who receives government-funded elder services, represents a dangerous threat to LGBT elders.
SAGE will continue to stand with and for our LGBT pioneers. We will not back down. We refuse to be invisible.
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 offers supportive services and consumer resources to LGBT older adults and their caregivers, advocates for public policy changes that address the needs of LGBT older people, 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 offices across the country, SAGE coordinates a growing network of local affiliates. Learn more at sageusa.org.