Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2022-03-16
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

GUEST COLUMN Religious Exemption Laws Put LGBT Elders at Risk
by Serena Worthington
2018-08-29

This article shared 1711 times since Wed Aug 29, 2018
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


At a time when LGBT older adults are at their most vulnerable and in need, religious exemption laws threaten to jeopardize their security and safety.

Take the case of Mary Walsh and Bev Nance who, like any other married couple, wanted to age together in their hometown of St. Louis. They did their research. They found a retirement community, visited several times, went through the application process, and cut a check for the $2,000 deposit. At the end, they were turned away at the door. Friendship Village Sunset Hills, a senior housing facility in their community, refused the couple because it followed the "Biblical definition" of marriage and "defined marriage as between a man and a woman." Just a few weeks ago, the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), Relman, Dane & Colfax PLLC, and co-counsel filed a lawsuit on behalf of Mary and Bev.

Earlier this year, the Trump administration established the Conscience and Religious Freedom Division at the Department of Health & Human Services to shield medical providers who deny care based on religious or moral beliefs. The new division puts LGBT elders particularly at risk.

A recent policy report found that LGBT older adults, like many older Americans in the United States, rely on a network of service providers as they age—for community programming and congregate meals, for health care, and for housing ranging from independent living to skilled nursing. However, the vast majority of these services are offered by religiously affiliated organizations.

The report, Dignity Denied: Religious Exemption and LGBT Elder Services is by The Movement Advancement Project, SAGE and the Public Rights/Private Conscience Project (PRPCP) at Columbia Law School. The research finds that while many of these religiously affiliated facilities provide great care, there is a coordinated and on-going effort to pass religious exemption laws, issue executive orders and agency guidance, and to litigate court cases to allow individuals, businesses, and even government contractors and grantees to use religion to discriminate.

As you can imagine, these laws are particularly concerning for our elders who are already at higher risk of discrimination when accessing aging services and long-term care. A recent AARP survey found that roughly half of LGBT older people fear discrimination in health care as they age, while 34 percent of LGBT elders are concerned that they will have to hide their identity in order to access suitable housing. According to a national study released by the Equal Rights Center, 48 percent of same-sex couples experience discrimination when applying for senior housing.

It is more important than ever that advocates and allies fight against these concerted efforts across the country and by the Trump administration to create a religious license to discriminate. No one should worry about fear of rejection, discrimination, or unequal treatment when accessing services and housing. Stand with Mary and Bev and against these harmful religious exemptions.

To learn more about the Dignity Denied report and to hear about how LGBT older adults and advocates are working to improve the local landscape, join the Pride Action Tank for an OUTAging Community Gathering on Friday, Aug. 24. In addition to myself, speakers include: Kelly Rice, Program Manager, Intensive Community Care Services at Howard Brown; Britta Larson, Senior Services Director at Center on Halsted; and Terri Worman, Associate State Director, Advocacy and Outreach at AARP Illinois.

OUTAging Community Meeting

August 24, 2018 9:30 a.m.-Noon

3656 N Halsted, John Baran Hall

www.Tinyurl.com/OutAging ,

Links: www.sageusa.org/resource-posts/dignity-denied-religious-exemptions-and-lgbt-elder-services/ .

Serena Worthington is on the Pride Action Tank Advisory Committee and is the Director of National Field Initiatives at SAGE, where she oversees SAGE's national affiliate network, facilitates state-based policy advocacy on LGBT aging issues, and enhances the capacity of partner organizations across the country to work effectively on behalf of LGBT older people.


This article shared 1711 times since Wed Aug 29, 2018
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

VIEWS Another 'Handmaid's Tale,' or sex and the supreme Catholics
2022-05-24
Amy Vivian Coney Barrett was confirmed as an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court by the U.S. Senate on Oct. 26, 2020. Barrett is only the fifth woman ever to serve on the Court. She is also the sixth Catholic ...


Gay News

'LGBTQ Rights on the Line: The Role of Communicators Advocating for Equality' event preview
2022-05-22
-- From a press release - Celebrating, honoring and acknowledging Pride Month is more important this year than ever (and it should be celebrated all year, not just during one month). The expected Supreme Court ruling that will undermine the right to ...


Gay News

VIEWS Dignity/Chicago celebrates 50 years of ministry
2022-05-06
It was 1972 and it was dangerous to be gay or lesbian. One could be arrested, publicly humiliated or fired from one's job. Even finding safety in the emerging bar scene was hazardous. Added to that ...


Gay News

PASSAGES Playwright/disability-rights activist Susan Nussbaum dies
2022-04-30
Susan Nussbaum—a Chicago playwright, novelist and longtime disability-rights activist—died April 28 at age 68. Nussbaum won the 2012 PEN/Bellwether Prize for Social Engaging Fiction for her novel Good Kings Bad ...


Gay News

VIEWS Biden, Democrats must end Title 42 now
2022-04-26
The Biden Administration should honor its commitment to immediately end Title 42 restrictions which were imposed by former President Donald Trump, to deny asylum seekers their basic, protected rights. It would be a mistake for Democrats ...


Gay News

VIEWS The closing of civil society: Russia and the U.S., or fear the queer!
2022-04-23
Putin's invasion of Ukraine has made manifest the fragility of civil society in Russia and the strength of civil society in Ukraine. It has also once again focused an intense spotlight on our own civil society. ...


Gay News

LETTERS A difference in opinion about Vatican document
2022-04-07
I am responding to DignityUSA Executive Director Marianne Duddy-Burks, who issued a press release that Windy City Times published. A newly released document from the Vatican's Congregation for Catholic Education could trigger a new wave of ...


Gay News

VIEWPOINT Mixed reactions to Will Smith's slap
2022-04-05
By now, everyone has seen or heard about Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars for making a tasteless and misogynistic joke about his wife's short hair resembling Demi Moore's buzzcut in the 1997 movie ...


Gay News

VIEWPOINT On A Scale of 1 to 10: Sex, Religion, Power, Politics--A Public Meditation
2022-04-03
QUESTION: "On a scale of one to 10, how faithful would you say you are, in terms of religion?"—U.S Sen. Lindsey Graham (R), South Carolina RESPONSE: "… there's no religious test in the Constitution under Article ...


Gay News

VIEWPOINT For Elise, I promise to advocate to ban the trans/gay panic defense
2022-03-29
Elise is dead. We don't yet know how or why. But Elise is dead, and my heart is breaking. Trans activist Elise Malary was an inspiration for me. She was the driving force behind the legislation ...


Gay News

VIEWS Putin's war and anti-queer Christian nationalism
2022-03-15
—'Don't Say Gay' bill clears Florida Senate awaiting signature of Governor Ron De Santis (March 08, 2022). —Texas attorney general Ken Paxton issues legal opinion classifying gender-affirming medical care for ...


Gay News

Five Worth Finding: Horror film, fantasy series, 'Women in Wine'
2022-03-07
The Last Thing Mary Saw: Offered exclusively on Shudder, The Last Thing Mary Saw (directed by Edoardo Vitaletti) is an engaging treat. In 19th-century New York, Young Mary, blood trickling from behind the blindfold tied around ...


Gay News

Simmons introduces measure for statewide senior residents' council
2022-02-26
-- From a press release - SPRINGFIELD—In an effort to support seniors and provide them with greater access to the resources they rely on, Illinois state Sen. Mike Simmons (D-Chicago) initiated a measure that will create the Senior Housing Residents' Advisory Counc ...


Gay News

VIEWS Bannon, the Catholic vote and our democracy
2022-02-20
"I don't want anybody to take their eye off the ball for what we do every day... We're taking down the Biden regime." Stephen K. Bannon speaking to reporters as he turned himself over to federal ...


Gay News

Social commentator Fran Lebowitz at Auditorium Theatre April 15
2022-02-16
Social commentator, satirist and author Fran Lebowitz will be at Chicago's Auditorium Theater, 50 E. Ida B. Wells Dr., on Friday, April 15, at 7:30 p.m. Lebowitz essays and interviews offer her acerbic views on current ...


 



Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.