AARP Backs Legal Efforts To Support Older LGBT Community

AARP is backing legal efforts to support older LGBT Americans.

The nonprofit organization for Americans over 50 is behind AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin; it has more than 900,000 self-identified LGBT members.

Nancy LeaMond, AARP executive vice president-Chief Advocacy and Engagement Officer, wrote members of the U.S. Senate last week to endorse S. 788, the Equality Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. 

According to AARP's national LGBT survey in 2018, 34% of older LGBT adults said they are concerned about hiding their identity in order to have access to suitable housing as they age.

More than 75% of the respondents in the "Maintaining Dignity" study were concerned about having adequate family or social supports to rely on as they aged.

AARP and AARP Foundation have also joined other groups in filing a friend-of-the-court (amicus curiae) brief this week in the U.S. Supreme Court to support litigation recognizing federal employment civil-rights protections for LGBT workers. 

This fall, the Court will consider three LGBT employment cases, which focus on how to interpret the 1964 Civil Rights Act's Title VII ban on employment discrimination "because of … sex."

The amicus brief argues the Court should recognize the term "sex" as one that also refers to sexual orientation and gender identity.

The brief states: "One in five older LGBT adults reported recent involuntary job loss due, at least in part, to their perceived sexual orientation and gender identity, and older LGBT workers postpone retirement at a higher rate than the general population, likely due to a lifetime of economic disadvantage."

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