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June 2, 2014

Remembering Arlene Kochman, Former Executive Director of SAGE

SAGE is saddened to announce the recent passing of Arlene Klarfeld Kochman, who served as  Executive Director from 1991 to 1996. 

Arlene oversaw the rapid expansion of SAGE services , dramatically expanding the numbers of LGBT elders receiving support, and relocating SAGE to its current headquarters at 305 7th Avenue in Manhattan.  

Arlene Kochman, former Executive Director of SAGE


Arlene was a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who also brought increased visibility to issues related to HIV and aging. She made important contributions to the public dialogue on this issue, which remains a key focus for SAGE policy advocacy and services  today.

In 1993, Arlene was quoted by the New York Times in an article about New York City’s domestic partnership registry, which acknowledged same-sex couples and served as an important benchmark on the road to marriage equality.  

"It means something," said Arlene Kochman, executive director of Senior Action in a Gay Environment in Manhattan. "The more people who say, 'We are domestic partners and we have this piece of paper,' the more it will begin to be known that this is a binding agreement and it will be respected." 

Arlene forged and witnessed remarkable progress for LGBT elders and SAGE--and for the larger LGBT equality movement--during her lifetime. Her dedication and leadership are remembered with great gratitude and fondness. 


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