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LGBT Older Adults: Falling Through the Safety Net

September 2010 | Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE), Movement Advancement Project (MAP)

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This brief illustrates how policy and social barriers gradually tear away at the safety net for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, or LGBT, older adults - and how these inequities compound and reinforce each other, creating a dramatically different aging experience for LGBT older adults based solely on the different treatment they experience because they are not heterosexual. It explains that the barriers and inequality facing LGBT older adults stem from the effects of social stigmas and prejudice, their reliance on informal "families of choice" for care and support, and inequitable laws and programs that treat LGBT elders unequally. These barriers can prevent LGBT elders from achieving three key elements of successful aging: financial security, good health and health care, and social support and community engagement. One of eleven issue briefs based on the SAGE/MAP report Improving the Lives of LGBT Older Adults. Note: This publication was created before the June 2013 US Supreme Court decision overturning Section 3 of DOMA, so some information contained herein may no longer be applicable.


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