Statement by NCLR Federal Policy Director Maya Rupert, Esq.

(Washington D.C., December 9, 2011)—This week, the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) co-hosted a day-long summit on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender elder housing issues with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). This is the first-ever national event to address housing, health and long-term care issues for LGBTQ elders. More than 90 people registered for the event, and the list of attendees included three assistant secretaries.

The invite-only event, held on December 7, brought together activists, academics, and government officials to discuss a broad range of issues affecting LGBTQ elders in housing, including discrimination in long-term care facilities, the economic impact on LGBTQ elder housing models, and how to ensure LGBTQ elder housing efforts are inclusive of transgender elders and elders of color.

HUD and HHS will use the information gathered to work with NCLR and other groups to develop new initiatives that will improve LGBTQ elders’ access to housing and health care.

Statement by NCLR Federal Policy Director Maya Rupert, Esq.:

“This event was historic, and we are incredibly grateful to the Obama administration for understanding that housing for LGBTQ elders deserves to be a federal issue. Older LGBTQ people are in a particularly vulnerable position as they come to rely on long-term care and assisted living facilities because of widespread discrimination they and their families face in many of these facilities. We have a responsibility to ensure that as members of our community age, they are afforded dignity and respect wherever they live. We are thrilled to have been a part of making this event happen, and we look forward to continue working with HUD, HHS, and the rest of the Obama administration to ensure protection and high quality care for all elders and their families.”

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.