LGBT Elders Erased From National Survey

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Photo by J.R. Davis

U.S. Congressman Ted Deutch (FL-22) blasted the Trump administration on Monday for removing LGBT designations in a national health survey.

The annual National Survey of Older Americans Act Participants (NSOAAP) will not seek to identify individuals based on sexual orientation or gender identity, the Administration on Aging revealed this week.

“The Trump Administration has decided to try and pretend LGBT older Americans just do not exist,” said Deutch, LGBT Aging Issues Task Force Chair.  “Removing LGBT people from this survey means the administration doesn’t care about the plight of LGBT elders, who face higher levels of poverty and typically have less familial support.  Programs supporting LGBT elders are literally lifesaving, and LGBT people deserve to have their voices heard.”

Related: Deutch Chosen Vice Chair of LGBT Equality Caucus 

Conducted by the Administration on Community Living (ACL), the NSOAAP is designed to evaluate the effectiveness of Older Americans Act Title III programs. Survey results determine billions of dollars of funding for programs assisting older Americans including senior centers, home-delivered meals, family caregiver support, and transportation.

Deutch said LGBT older Americans face higher levels of economic insecurity, social isolation, and discrimination including having particular difficulty accessing critical aging services and supports. The South Florida Democrat is not alone in his rebuke of the government’s new survey.

Sarah Kate Ellis, president of GLADD, released the following statement:

“The Trump Administration is literally attempting to erase the LGBTQ community from the fabric of American history. Our LGBTQ seniors, many of whom survived the HIV and AIDS epidemic, do not deserve to have the government once again brush them off from obtaining transportation services, caregiver support, and even delivered meals that fit their needs. Access to these services is an American right, and this heartless move proves how anti-LGBTQ the Trump Administration has always been from Day One,” Ellis said.

The ACL oversees the Administration on Aging and operates within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Former U.S. Congressman Thomas Price of Georgia is the Secretary of the HHS.

Related: Poverty A Harsh Reality For LGBT Seniors 

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