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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 was signed into law today.

“Older members of the LGBTQ community face difficulty and discrimination,” Villivalam (D-Chicago) said. “It is crucial that we protect LGBTQ elders’ right to age with dignity, and to access resources without fear. I am proud to say that SB 1319 does just that.”

“LGBTQ older adults face many challenges as they age, including fears about neglect, abuse, and harassment because of their identities,” said Brian C. Johnson, CEO of Equality Illinois. “Sometimes, 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 the charge on SB 1319 in the State Senate.”

Senate Bill 1319 helps cultivate affirming environments in assisted living facilities for LGBTQ older adults and people living with HIV by recognizing them for aging programs funded through the federal Older Americans Act.  In such facilities, SB 1319 also protects ALL Illinoisans in Assisted Living and Shared Housing Facilities from discrimination for all of the protected categories in the Illinois Human Rights Act, including race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, sex, disability, sexual orientation, and gender identity. 

Governor Pritzker signed this legislation into law on Friday, 8/9 and is effective immediately.

Category: Press Releases

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