Trenton – In an effort to protect the rights of LGBTQI seniors in long-term care facilities, Senators Troy Singleton and Vin Gopal sponsored legislation to prohibit the discrimination of these residents in their facilities. The bill would also educate these facilities on the rights of their residents. This legislation passed the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee.
“A recent report on older LGBTQI adults and long-term care facilities found that often times, these adults are victims of harassment and neglect by the staff just because of who they are, how they identify, and whether or not they live with HIV,” said Senator Singleton (D-Burlington). “This callous treatment is despicable and unacceptable. These facilities, their staff, and their residents must understand the rights which protect all members of our society, including the LGBTQI community, without exception.”
“Coming from a district with a large LGBTQI community, I was horrified to learn of the neglect and discrimination this population still receives in our long-term care facilities,” said Senator Gopal (D-Monmouth). “There is no excuse for this and LGBTQI residents deserve to know their rights so they can better hold their staff accountable.”
Under the bill, administrators and staff would receive training, on a biennial basis on how best to care for LGBTQI seniors living with HIV and prevent discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, and intersex status. In addition, long-term facilities would be required to prominently post a notice saying they do not discriminate and do not permit or tolerate any kind of bullying or neglect based on sexual orientation, gender identity or intersex status.
The bill, S-2545, was released from committee by a vote of 6-0.