(San Francisco, July 27, 2012)—Yesterday, the National Center for Lesbian Rights Elder Law Project and the San Francisco Human Rights Commission co-hosted “Setting the Agenda: Issues Facing LGBTQ Elders of Color,” a groundbreaking meeting that brought together representatives from nearly two dozen government agencies and organizations to discuss key issues and obstacles facing lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer elders of color.
The goal of the event was to provide a forum for LGBTQ elders of color to talk about their experiences and issues in advance of the appointment of 15 members to the newly formed San Francisco LGBTQ Elder Task Force. The Board of Supervisors will appoint the members to the Task Force in September. The Task Force will be empowered to make recommendations directly to the Board on housing, social services, legal equity, research and demographics, and building intergenerational bridges within the LGBTQ community.
More than 70 people attended the meeting, including San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener, Supervisor Christine Olague, Human Rights Commissioner Michael Pappas, Department of Aging and Adult Services Deputy Director Shireen McSpadden, and Tom Nolan, who will oversee the Task Force, and who is the former executive director of Project Open Hand, a major elder service provider organization. Many elders, activists, and service providers also participated.
Organizers will compile the information gathered into a report that will be submitted to the Board of Supervisors, the Human Rights Commission, and the members of the Task Force.
“This event was truly historic, and we are thrilled to partner with the Human Rights Commission on this effort,” said NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell. “Supervisors Wiener, Campos, and Olague have done a great service by sponsoring legislation to establish a Task Force on LGBTQ elder issues in San Francisco. With this meeting, NCLR is helping to ensure that the issues affecting LGBTQ elders of color will be at the top of the new Task Force’s agenda when it meets this fall.”
The National Center for Lesbian Rights is a national legal organization committed to advancing the civil and human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their families through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education.