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Anderson Apartments assault and robbery victim tells his story

Anderson Apartments assault and robbery victim tells his story

Lenny Cohen    April 16, 2019

“Now the only thing I feel about Philadelphia is it’s not safe.” Those are the words of the longtime city man who was reported to have been attacked, sexually assaulted and...

Mark My Words

History comes full circle

Mark Segal    April 18, 2019

Last Sunday as I sat on my couch watching TV, I found myself in tears. A man I have never met, a very out gay man, was live on CNN...

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One less hurdle for crime victims’ rights in PA

Regional

One less hurdle for crime victims’ rights in PA

Tim Cwiek    April 18, 2019

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives has approved legislation that would amend the state constitution to include specific protections for crime victims and their families. The initiative was approved April 8 in...

Court strips ex-judge of  law license

Local

Court strips ex-judge of law license

Tim Cwiek    April 18, 2019

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court last week ordered the suspension of Dawn Segal’s law license for one year and a day. Segal, an open lesbian, served as a municipal-court judge in Philadelphia for...

Silent, no more: GLSEN comes to Philly

Local

Silent, no more: GLSEN comes to Philly

A.D. Amorosi    April 18, 2019

At the end of an overcast Friday afternoon, teens with rainbow stickers on their cheeks, advocate mothers with ‘X’s painted across their lips, city and state representatives filled with anger...

Bullied fifth-grader takes own life

Local

Bullied fifth-grader takes own life

Josh Middleton    April 18, 2019

 A family in Southwest Philadelphia is mourning the loss of an 11-year-old who they say died by suicide after he and his brother faced constant bullying at their school. Phillip Spruill...

Media Trail: April 19-25, 2019

National

Media Trail: April 19-25, 2019

Larry Nichols    April 17, 2019

Morehouse College to take transgender students CNN reports the country’s only all-male historically black college will begin admitting transgender men next year. The move marks a major shift for Morehouse College at...

Oxford University to rethink degree given to Brunei sultan

International

Oxford University to rethink degree given to Brunei sultan

Larry Nichols    April 11, 2019

The University of Oxford says it will reconsider an honorary degree it awarded the Sultan of Brunei following the outcry over new Islamic laws that punish gay sex and adultery...

Canadian man claims Marshalls store fired him because of his sexuality

International

Canadian man claims Marshalls store fired him because of his sexuality

Larry Nichols    April 11, 2019

A gay man from Oshawa, Ontario in Canada claimed that he was fired from his job in retail chain Marshalls because they “didn’t like” him and were looking for a...

Vatican receives lawyers opposed to criminalization of gays

International

Vatican receives lawyers opposed to criminalization of gays

Larry Nichols    April 11, 2019

A group of international lawyers researching the criminalization of homosexuality has met with the Vatican secretary of state and urged the Holy See to publicly oppose such laws and “conversion”...

Advocacy and action for and by LGBT

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Individuals and communities alike are working across the Commonwealth to better focus on awareness of and access to services for LGBTQ older adults and their caregivers.
The Pennsylvania Department of Aging’s October 2018 LGBTQ Aging Summit was planned to be a catalyst to connect the aging services network with the LGBTQ senior community to help drive many needed changes at the local and state levels to better address the needs of our diverse LGBTQ seniors.

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At the summit, Michael Adams, CEO of SAGE (Services and Advocacy for LGBT Elders) outlined a number of issues and shared a call to action with this statement, “Recognizing that you are advocates, and that we are all advocates, we must work together to advance the policies that improve the lives of LGBTQ older adults.” Adams went on to outline five key advocacy issues:

Pass the Fairness Act. Currently in Pennsylvania, we have a patchwork of legal protections for LGBT residents rather than a uniform anti-discrimination law. Pennsylvania is the only state in the Northeast without such a law protecting the LGBTQ community. The Fairness Act needs to pass to provide protections across the Commonwealth.

Designate LGBT older adults and those living with HIV as greatest social needs populations in the Older Americans Act. The term “greatest social need” refers to the need caused by noneconomic factors, which can include discrimination, social isolation, disproportionate poverty and health disparities, and a lack of access to culturally competent providers. Being designated “greatest social needs population” would improve access to supports and services, including needed funding.

Provide protections in long term care settings. Pennsylvania can follow the lead of Massachusetts and California in advancing an LGBT Long-Term Care Facility Residents Bill of Rights, which protects people from discrimination on basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and HIV status in long-term care settings.

Require cultural competency training for the Aging Services Network.  Pennsylvania can follow the lead of California and Massachusetts to require LGBT cultural-awareness training as part of certification for long-term care providers.

Gather Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) Data. Collecting SOGI data is essential to providing high quality, patient-centered care to LGBT people across their lifecycle. We understand that the Department of Aging has the ability to begin to gather data on their funded programs (i.e., through the AAA and LINK networks).

Advocacy in 2019

Advocacy is happening locally with the Mayor’s Office of LGBT Affairs and its Elder Advisory Committee, chaired by Gigi Nikpour. The committee meets monthly and has forged partnership with strong national advocacy organizations such as AARP, SAGE and CARIE (Center for Advocacy for the Rights & Interests of the Elderly). We welcome community advocates to join our efforts to advance the needs of LGBT older adults and their caregivers in Pennsylvania. For more information, please contact Gigi Nikpour via email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or the Office of LGBT Affairs at 215-686-0330.


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