Sacramento, CA – Assembly Bill 663, authored by Assemblymember Jimmy Gomez and sponsored by Equality California and the California Senior Legislature (CSL), was signed by Governor Jerry Brown today. The bill will help ensure lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender seniors get respectful and competent elder care by integrating LGBT cultural competency instruction into the training received by residential care facility administrators.
“Today marks a victory for the ever-growing LGBT population in our state and nation,” said Assemblymember Gomez. “LGBT seniors will now receive the care and respect they deserve. By 2030 there will be an estimated 3 million LGBT seniors in the United States; I am proud that California will lead the nation in preparing our caretakers to properly care for this growing demographic.”
“LGBT pioneers should live out their final years with dignity – not go back in the closet for fear of discrimination,” said John O’Connor EQCA executive director. “LGBT seniors are amongst the most vulnerable in our population and through Assemblymember Jimmy Gomez’s leadership we are one step closer to better protecting them.”
Nationwide, there are an estimated 1.5 million LGBT elders, with that number projected to double by 2030. This is also the first generation to navigate the impact of HIV/AIDS on aging and health. By integrating cultural competency training for residential care administrators into the normal set of classes, LGBT seniors will worry less about being forced back into the closet.
“This was a true partnership between Assemblymember Gomez, EQCA and the California Senior Legislature,” added Shirley Krohn, Senior Assemblymember with the CSL. “Collectively, we recognized the isolation, neglect, discrimination and substandard care this community has had to endure over the years. The need to sensitize facility personnel that this burgeoning population needs to be treated equally became an imperative for us. We are thrilled with the Governor’s signature!”
Assemblymember Jimmy Gomez represents the 51st Assembly District, which includes Unincorporated East Los Angeles and the neighborhoods of Silver Lake, Echo Park, Glassell Park, Highland Park, Cypress Park, Lincoln Heights, El Sereno, Eagle Rock, Elysian Park, Mt. Washington, Atwater Village, Montecito Heights and Chinatown.