Press

LGBT seniors to benefit from HHS plans for creation of national resource center

Date: 
October 22, 2009

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Task Force:
Inga Sarda-Sorensen
646.358.1463
isorensen@theTaskForce.org

SAGE:
Cathy Renna
917.757.6123
cathy@rennacommunications.com

WASHINGTON, Oct. 22 — The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and Services and Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Elders (SAGE) applaud the announcement by Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius of plans to establish the first national resource center to assist communities across the country in their efforts to provide services and support to older lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. The Task Force and SAGE have been working collaboratively as part of the New Beginning Initiative to advocate for the needs of LGBT seniors.

The New Beginning Initiative is a Task Force-coordinated collaboration of more than 20 national LGBT organizations moving to promote change within federal agencies to improve the lives of LGBT people. LGBT aging issues have been a focus of this collaboration, and have been identified as a priority issue for the Task Force.

Statement by Rea Carey, Executive Director
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

"This announcement from HHS marks a critical step to address the needs of a highly vulnerable and largely invisible aging population. This national resource center will provide information and resources to mainstream aging organizations and to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender organizations that want to reach out to their aging community. We know that invisibility leads to greater social isolation, which is acknowledged as a major problem for people as they age, and can be particularly difficult for LGBT people. The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and SAGE are genuinely pleased that the Administration on Aging is moving to create more safe and welcoming services for LGBT seniors. Up until now, such services have been few and far between."

Statement by Michael Adams, Executive Director, Services and Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Elders (SAGE)

"SAGE, the entire LGBT aging field and all those who work with and care for LGBT older adults, are thrilled by this announcement. This resource center is a truly historic recognition of the needs of LGBT older adults across the country and will make a huge difference in the lives of so many seniors. For too long, programs that serve LGBT older people have been ignored and shut out from most public funding, and there has been no federal funding to help mainstream aging services become educated about and sensitive to the unique needs of LGBT older adults. With this announcement, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Obama administration have taken a big step in the right direction to correct that wrong as a matter of both policy and funding."

To learn more about the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, follow us on Twitter: @TheTaskForce.

To learn more about SAGE, visit http://www.sageusa.org/.

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The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the grassroots power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. We do this by training activists, equipping state and local organizations with the skills needed to organize broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.