The bill designating LGBTQ+ older people and older people living with HIV in New York State as populations of greatest social need passes the New York State Legislature and moves to Gov. Hochul’s desk.
SAGE, the world’s largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of LGBTQ+ elders, applauds the New York State legislature for passing New York S78A/7855. If signed into law, this critical bill would officially designate LGBTQ+ elders and older New Yorkers Living with HIV as populations of “greatest social need” in state programs and services for older New Yorkers.
Older people living with HIV and LGBTQ+ older people face structural inequalities, including pronounced social isolation and higher rates of poverty than their non-positive and non-LGBTQ+ peers, along with systemic barriers to accessing culturally competent aging services and supports. This designation will raise awareness of the unique needs of LGBTQ+ elders and older people living with HIV, and promote increased data collection, funding, and the expansion of LGBTQ+-competent aging services throughout the Empire State. Simply put, this legislation will help ensure all older LGBTQ+ and HIV+ New Yorkers can access the services they need to age in place.
“We applaud Assembly member Bronson, Senator Hoylman, and the New York State legislature on their steadfast leadership in passing this crucial bill. This legislation will have a marked impact on so many LGBTQ+ elders and older people living with HIV in the great Empire State, ensuring that LGBTQ+ older people and older people living with HIV receive the culturally competent aging services and supports our community deserves,” said Lynn Faria, Executive Vice President at SAGE.
“Building on the progress led by the New York State Office for the Aging, this legislation puts New York in its rightful place as a leader for the LGBTQ+ community as we age. We look forward to Governor Hochul signing this bill into law.”
SAGE is the world’s largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer and/or questioning (LGBTQ+) older people. Founded in 1978 and headquartered in New York City, SAGE is a national organization that offers supportive services and consumer resources to LGBTQ+ older people and their caregivers. SAGE also advocates for public policy changes that address the needs of LGBTQ+ elders, provides education and technical assistance for aging providers and LGBTQ+ community organizations through its National Resource Center on LGBTQ+ Aging, and cultural competency training through SAGECare. Learn more at sageusa.org.
In addition to SAGE, S78A/A7855 is supported by AARP New York, The Center, The New York State LGBT Health & Human Services Network, Gender Equality New York, and Rainbow Heights Club.