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SPRINGFIELD – Legislation sponsored by State Senator Ram Villivalam to advance equity for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) older adults passed the Senate on Wednesday.

“It is important to protect our LGBTQ population at all ages. The older members of this community face very specific challenges as they age,” Villivalam (D-Chicago) said. “We need to ensure that aging programming by service providers and the environments in assisted living facilities are welcoming and inclusive, and I’m proud to say this legislation does just that.”

Senate Bill 1319 would both highlight to service providers the need to develop aging programming that includes LGBTQ people and help cultivate affirming environments in assisted living facilities for LGBTQ older adults.

“LGBTQ older adults face many challenges as they age, including fears about neglect, abuse, and harassment because of their identities,” Brian C. Johnson, CEO of Equality Illinois said. “Sometimes, many LGBTQ older adults are forced by circumstances to go back into the closet as they age because of the absence of inclusive programming by service providers and a lack of affirming care in long-term care facilities. As they age, we must ensure laws and programming support and affirm them. Thank you, Sen. Villivalam, for leading this charge.”

The bill now moves to the House for consideration.

Category: Press Releases

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