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House LGBT Equality Caucus Announces Creation of LGBT Aging Issues Task Force

Feb 18, 2016
Press Release

1433 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20515

Date: February 18, 2016         Contact:  Roddy Flynn, (202) 257-8416

House LGBT Equality Caucus Announces Creation of LGBT Aging Issues Task Force

Washington, D.C. – The Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus announced today that it has formed a task force to push for legislative and administrative action to protect the dignity and security of elderly LGBT people.  Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) has accepted the Caucus Co-Chairs’ request to serve as chair the bipartisan task force.

The members of the LGBT Aging Issues Task Force are:  Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) and Rep. Mark Takano (D-CA), Co-Chairs of the LGBT Equality Caucus; Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) and Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL), Vice Chairs of the LGBT Equality Caucus; and LGBT Equality Caucus members Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME), Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Rep. Lois Frankel (D-FL), Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM), and Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-FL).

“Older adults who identify as LGBT face unique and uncomfortable challenges that are not widely understood or addressed,” said Rep. Mark Takano (D-CA), LGBT Equality Caucus Co-Chair.  “The Aging Task Force will become an important resource and advocate for a community of people that often experience social and cultural isolation as they age.  I’m grateful to Congressman Deutch for chairing the task force and I look forward to shedding light on an issue that deserves our attention.”

“For many older Americans who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender, a lifetime of discrimination has undermined their right to a retirement with dignity,” said Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL), LGBT Aging Issues Task Force Chair.  “With 76 million Baby Boomers entering or nearing retirement and more than 44 million Americans already over the age of 65, we cannot afford to ignore the unique challenges faced by LGBT seniors, especially in communities with large retiree populations like South Florida.  The House Equality Caucus is committed to advocating for their needs, and I am honored to take the lead with our new Aging Task Force.”

“The task force is tasked with examining the unique challenges and vulnerabilities faced by LGBT older adults,” LGBT Equality Caucus Executive Director Roddy Flynn said.  “Too many elderly LGBT people are forced to go ‘back in the closet’ out of fear of discrimination or harassment from caregivers and housing providers.  LGBT elders also suffer from higher rates of poverty, are more likely to live alone and lack any close relatives to call for help.  These challenges are in addition to the declining health, diminished income and loss of friends and family that all older Americans face.  Despite advances in civil rights, LGBT elders remain one of the most invisible, underserved and at risk populations among elders in the United States.”

Please contact Roddy Flynn at 202.257-8416 (cell) or with press inquiries.

The mission of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus is to promote lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) equality. The bi-partisan LGBT Equality Caucus is strongly committed to achieving the full enjoyment of human rights for LGBT people in the U.S. and around the world. By serving as a resource for Members of Congress, their staff, and the public on LGBT issues, the Caucus works toward the extension of equal rights, the repeal of discriminatory laws, the elimination of hate-motivated violence, and the improved health and wellbeing for all regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.