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Monday, October 4, 2010

Grow Up, Grow Old and Enter the Closet Together.

In concentrating on the ways in which LGBT families may protect themselves, I generally focus on young growing families.  But a recent article reminded me of the vulnerability of elderly gay people.

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force reports that there are approximately 1.4 to 3.8 million LGBT Americans over the age of 65.  While it may be true that LGBT persons have a large network of community on which to rely for support, generally this network will be close to the same age so may not offer much assistance.

Elderly LGBT people deserve to live out their twilight safely and openly.  Minnesota’s non-discrimination statute does not go far enough to protect its elderly LGBT population.  The non-discrimination statute should be amended to provide protections for seniors on the bases of sexual orientation and gender identity or expression in insurance, housing and public accommodations.

Be sure you are protected when you are at your most vulnerable by having a power of attorney, health care directive and HIPAA waiver.


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