Burrows v. ILWU

Marvin Burrows and his partner William Swenor were together for 51 years. Burrows and Swenor did everything within their power to demonstrate their commitment to each other and to provide for the surviving partner in the event of one partner’s death, including registering as domestic partners. Swenor worked as a warehouse crew leader for more than 35 years. Throughout Swenor’s employment, he was a member of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and contributed to...


New Guide for LGBTQ Elders in California Provides Comprehensive Information About Their Rights and Benefits

(San Francisco, CA, December 20, 2011)—A pioneering new guide released today gives California’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender elders—who are more likely to face discrimination, be low-income, and live in poverty—comprehensive information about their rights and the services that are available to them as they navigate the system of public and social benefits. The guide—called “Navigating the System: A Know-Your-Rights Guide for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Elders in...


NCLR, HUD, HHS Co-Host First-Ever National Summit on LGBTQ Elder Housing, Health, and Long-Term Care Issues

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...


NCLR Challenges Cozen O’Connor’s Refusal to Provide Death Benefits to Surviving Same-Sex Spouse

(San Francisco, CA, September 23, 2011)—The National Center for Lesbian Rights filed a brief in federal district court in Pennsylvania yesterday arguing that private employers cannot hide behind the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) to justify discriminating against same-sex spouses in private benefits plans. NCLR is representing Jennifer Tobits, the widow of Sarah “Ellyn” Farley, whose parents have challenged the couple’s marriage and now seek death benefits provided by...


Widow Defends Her Marriage Against Challenges by Deceased Wife’s Parents

Widow’s In-laws Seeking Control of Estate and Death Benefits (San Francisco, August 3, 2011)—The National Center for Lesbian Rights is representing Jennifer Tobits, the widow of Sarah Ellyn Farley, whose parents are challenging the couple’s marriage and seeking control of Farley’s estate and death benefits provided by her employer. This week, Tobits filed court documents seeking to be named the executor of her wife’s estate and defending her status as a surviving spouse. Tobits’s in-laws had...


LGBTQ Elders Raise Serious Fears about Long-Term Care Facilities

(San Francisco, CA, April 5, 2011)—A majority of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) older adults who answered a national online survey believe that staff of long-term care facilities would discriminate against an LGBTQ elder who was open about his or her sexual orientation, and more than half believe that staff or other residents would abuse or neglect an LGBTQ elder. Released today, the groundbreaking report—LGBTQ Older Adults in Long-Term Care Facilities: Stories from the...


New Report Shows Long-Term Care Facilities Aren’t Safe for LGBTQ Elders

Without traditional support systems in place, many lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender elders end up relying on nursing homes or other institutions providing long-term care. Today, the National Senior Citizens Law Center—along with the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Lambda Legal, National Center for Transgender Equality, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, and Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE)—released a report showing that LGBTQ elders are often not safe in these...


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