Proposed Bill in California to Make Discrimination Against LGBT Nursing Home Residents Illegal
California advocates for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people are grappling with the needs of the growing community of LGBT seniors. Two State Senators from San Francisco introduced a bill in the California State Senate called the “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Long-Term Care Facility Resident’s Bill of Rights,” which would make it illegal for nursing homes in California to discriminate against LGBT people on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Proposed Bill Would Outlaw Discrimination Against LGBT Nursing Home Residents
Advocates believe that LGBT seniors who live in nursing homes are particularly vulnerable to discrimination and abuse because they have to depend on others for their care and because they often lack privacy.
If the bill passes, nursing homes and other long-term care facilities would be violating the law if they refused to admit someone into their facilities because of that person’s sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or HIV status. It would also be unlawful to discharge or transfer LGBT people for discriminatory reasons, or to refuse to use a resident’s preferred pronoun or name.
Conservative groups, including the Pacific Justice Institute, oppose the bill, saying they believe it infringes on religious freedom and free speech. Opponents also object to a provision prohibiting harassment based on residents using bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity.
All Nursing Home Residents Deserve to Be Treated with Respect
Here at the law firm Garcia & Artigliere & Faulkner, we believe that LGBT nursing home residents deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, and that nursing homes should not discriminate against their residents.
Unfortunately for LGBT nursing home residents and their loved ones, studies have shown that LGBT residents have a higher risk of being abused by both nursing home employees and other residents. One study showed that 65 percent of LGBT residents suffered some form of abuse because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
If you think an LGBT loved one may be suffering discrimination or abuse in a nursing home, call Garcia & Artigliere, and Faulkner for a free consultation with an experienced nursing home abuse attorney. Call 1-800-281-8515, or fill out the contact form on the right side of this page.