California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed a bill into law on Wednesday that provides protections to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender residents of long-term care facilities.
The bill, known as the “LGBT Seniors Bill of Rights,” was introduced earlier this year by state Sen. Scott Wiener (D – San Francisco), who said he proposed the legislation because of the the “unique challenges around discrimination, health, and potential lack of family support systems” that LGBT seniors face.
The legislation makes it unlawful for long-term care providers to discriminate against a resident’s sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or HIV status. Providers could be reprimanded if they fail to use a resident’s preferred name or pronouns, deny admission or evict a resident based on their orientation or gender identity, or transfer a resident to a new facility because of other resident’s “anti-LGBT attitudes.”
Each facility will also be required to post a notice regarding discrimination along with its existing nondiscrimination policies.
“Our LGBT seniors built the modern LGBT community and led the fight for so many of the rights our community takes for granted today. It is our duty to make sure they can age with the dignity and respect they deserve,” Weiner said in a statement on the bill’s signing. “The LGBT Senior Bill of Rights is an important step in our fight to ensure all people are treated equally regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.”