Rep. Ted Deutch (FL-22), Chair of the LGBT Aging Issues Task Force, and 49 members of the U.S. House of Representatives demanded the Trump Administration reinstate LGBT demographic questions to the National Survey of Older Americans Act Participants (NSOAAP).
“As we fight for full equality for our LGBT family, it’s important to recognize the unique needs of LGBT seniors,” said Deutch. “Older LGBT Americans often face new levels of discrimination as they age and struggle with higher than average levels of poverty and social isolation. Federally funded programs should not contribute to this terrible homophobic and transphobic culture. We need the data from these surveys to better ensure that LGBT seniors are receiving the care they need and deserve, without prejudice.”
The NSOAAP is used to evaluate whether the billions of dollars in funding for programs assisting older Americans are being used efficiently and effectively. Since 2014, the NSOAAP has included LGBT-specific questions that yielded vital data on the extreme challenges facing LGBT elders. On March 13, 2017, the Administration on Community Living—which oversees the NSOAAP—revealed that they intended to remove the LGBT-specific questions from the 2017 survey.
In 2011, a wide-ranging study from the National Senior Citizen Law Center (now called Justice in Aging) and other organizations captured alarming evidence of widespread discrimination against LGBT seniors in long-term care facilities.