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13 posts from June 2013

June 7, 2013

Why Paid Leave Is an LGBT Aging Issue

Today's post is from Jared Make, Staff Attorney at A Better Balance, an organization that promotes equality and expands choices for men and women at all income levels so they may care for their families without sacrificing their economic security. You can contact Jared at [email protected].

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When illness strikes, many American workers learn that their employers provide little or no paid leave. LGBT workers often face an additional obstacle when loved ones are sick, because their employers may not recognize their families. The widespread lack of LGBT-inclusive paid leave has significant consequences for workers, their loved ones, and the health of our communities. Although it may not be apparent at first glance, paid leave laws are especially critical to the health and economic security of LGBT elders—whether or not they’re in the labor force.

A significant percentage of American workers, including a growing number of LGBT elders, receive no paid leave for personal or family health issues. Almost 90% of private sector workers receive no paid family leave to care for a seriously ill loved one, and nearly 40% of private sector workers lack even a single paid sick day. Many of these workers are LGBT older adults. The population of LGBT elders in the United States is growing at a substantial rate, and LGBT Americans are staying in the labor force for longer periods of time. In a 2009 survey of LGBT Americans between the ages of 45 and 64, almost half of all respondents said they did not expect to retire until after the age of 70.

If LGBT elders in the labor force cannot take time off to receive medical care or recover from illness, their health and well-being are jeopardized. As highlighted by SAGE, LGBT elders face striking health disparities: LGBT older adults have an increased risk for certain cancers, a greater likelihood of delaying medical care, and higher rates of chronic mental and physical health conditions, including HIV/AIDS. Given these health disparities, it is crucial that LGBT elders are able to take off from work to receive medical attention or care for a sick loved one.

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June 5, 2013

LGBT Elders: Poverty's Challenges Worsen With Age

This is a guest post by Robert Espinoza, SAGE's Senior Director for Public Policy and Communications. In today's post, Robert writes about how poverty uniquely affects LGBT older adults and the release of a new report highlighting these facts from The Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law.  The report can be downloaded here.

This post was originally featured on the Huffington Post.

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SAGE Constituent George Stewart at The White House

At 81, George Stewart has been a longtime advocate for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) older people in New York City. He's a former Army clerk and U.S. Air Force court reporter, and last summer he was selected by the White House as one of sixChampions of Change nationwide for LGBT Pride Month. Yet behind his active civic life and national profile lies another reality: George Stewart is low income, and as with millions of older people, he relies on federal assistance to supplement his income and on local services for community support. For many low-income LGBT older people, public assistance and support networks interlock as lifelines—ameliorating poverty, reducing isolation and helping to manage the slew of challenges that come with getting older. Unfortunately, despite the prevalence of poverty among elders in this country, including LGBT elders, these realities are rarely brought to light.

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June 3, 2013

SAGE Joins 34 LGBT and HIV Advocacy Groups to Support the Fight Against HIV/AIDS

As the nation marks the opening of LGBT Pride Month, executive directors from 34 LGBT and HIV/AIDS organizations from across the United States have released a joint letter committing themselves and their organizations to re-engaging the broader LGBT community in the fight against HIV. Read the letter here, view the campaign video, and then visit the site We the LGBT to pledge your support for achieving the vision of an AIDS-free generation.

 

Over the last 30 years, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community has seen great strides in the movement for full equality. Much of this success is the result of a concerted movement, which was galvanized in response to the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s.

Continue reading "SAGE Joins 34 LGBT and HIV Advocacy Groups to Support the Fight Against HIV/AIDS" »