SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Discrimination against LGBTQ seniors in assisted-living facilities would no longer be legal if legislation sponsored by state Rep. Joyce Mason, D-Gurnee, passes the Illinois House this month. Senate Bill 1319 seeks to close a loophole in Illinois discrimination law that has left many LGBTQ seniors in fear of discrimination while searching for long-term care.
“Over recent years, Illinois has made incredible progress creating new anti-discrimination laws, but we are still lacking vital protections for some of our most vulnerable residents,” said Mason. “Currently, due to fear of discrimination, many LGBTQ seniors are being faced with the extremely difficult decision of re-closeting themselves in order to live in the assisted-living facility of their choice. It is past time we give seniors the right to live where they choose without asking them to erase part of their identity in the process.”
According to SAGE, a national organization focused on LGBTQ elders, nearly half of all senior LGBTQ couples experience some form of discrimination when searching for a senior living facility. Even after an LGBTQ senior moves into a long-term care facility, he or she can still be faced with discrimination from other residents and staff.
“Moving into a long-term care facility is a delicate transition filled with a variety of unique challenges, but fear of discrimination should not be one of them,” said Mason. “This legislation seeks to mitigate, and eventually eliminate, this type of discrimination, so LGBTQ seniors can search for the right assisted-living facility for them, free from fears of discrimination.”
For more information, please contact Mason’s constituent service office at 847-485-9986 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.