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Governor of New York Signs Bills Strengthening Support for LGBTQ Seniors

December 9th, 2022

One member of a same-sex couple in Alaska was recently denied her 2019 Permanent Fund dividends because of an outdated law prohibiting same-sex marriage.
LGBTQ Seniors in New York state will now have greater access to services including mental and physical care, low-cost meals, and caregivers.

Obtaining access to mental and physical care, low-cost meals, caregivers, and other types of support is now easier for LGBTQ seniors in the state of New York.

New York’s Governor Hochul signed a regulation into law, which makes New York the most recent state to increase the offering of its services to individuals over the age of 60 who identify as LGBTQ+ and who are disproportionately impacted by both isolation and poverty.

The Value of the LGBTQ Seniors Legislation 

This legislation necessitates that New York’s Office for the Aging review both gender expression and identity, HIV status, and sexual orientation when it determines which elderly individuals require the most assistance. The law currently references other noneconomic factors such as isolation, language challenges, and disability caused by ethnicity and race. This new legislation is a critical step in tackling these inequalities while working to help LGBTQ seniors in New York state receive similar support to anyone elsewhere in the state.

What the Measure Changes

The measure assesses New York’s interpretation of a statute found in the Older Americans Act of 1965, a regulation signed by President Johnson as an additional measure to the Social Security Amendments and the Medicaid and Medicaid Act. The 1965 regulation offers both funding and community-wide services, including Meals-on-Wheels. The measure was based on President Johnson’s Great Society reforms and followed closely behind both the Civil Rights Act and the Economic Opportunity Act. Funding for many Great Society programs dropped off sharply during the Vietnam war. Other programs were dismantled by later presidents like Nixon and Ford.

The premise of this legislation is to let the elderly “age in place” and remain in their communities as they grow older.

The Nature of the Older Americans Act

The Older Americans Act of 1965 marked the first federal measure designed to provide comprehensive services for older citizens of the United States. The Act established the National Aging Network, which includes the Administration on Aging at the federal, state, and local level.

The network offers funding based solely on the percentage of an area’s population aged 60 or older for things like nutrition, home support, and community-based services.

In 2016, Congress reauthorized the Act in full effect through the fiscal year of 2019. In March 2020, the Act was reauthorized again until 2024. 

The Act was divided into several elements:

  • A declaration of objectives.
  • Creating the Administration on Aging to execute the Act’s provisions.
  • Offering federal funding for state agencies on aging and establishing a nutrition program.
  • Creating specific projects connected to the Act’s objectives, which included healthcare services in rural areas and computer training.
  • Establishing a program for helping low-income senior citizens in community service employment and offering volunteer opportunities.
  • Creating a grant for certain Native American-focused aging programs.
  • Establishing state grants for “vulnerable” elderly populations.

The Goal of the Universal Life Church’s Blog

The Universal Life Church’s blog is focused on documenting the most noteworthy LGBTQ+ cases. We strive to document each case and to do so in a manner that objectively examines opposing sides.

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