SAGE Applauds Passage of ENDA
“This is a huge victory for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees, who should be judged on their work, not their identity,” said Michael Adams, Executive Director of SAGE. “Many of today’s LGBT older people have faced a lifetime of employment discrimination, leading to economic uncertainty and even poverty. Today, the nation’s leaders have taken a huge step toward ensuring that future generations of LGBT people can be themselves in the workplace without fearing long-term financial consequences.”
Research shows that poverty among lesbian, gay and bisexual people is as high, or higher, than among the heterosexual population. According to a 2009 research report led by UCLA's Williams Institute, studies have found that 24% of lesbians and 15% of gay and bisexual men are poor, compared to 19% and 13% of heterosexual women and men, respectively—numbers that persist as LGBT people age. A number of factors contribute to high poverty among LGBT communities, including employment discrimination.
The employment and economic security challenges experienced by many older people are even more pronounced for transgender older adults. Transgender people face high levels of employment and housing discrimination, and consequent economic and housing instability. Many have lost jobs and homes due to discrimination. The economic and personal impact of this discrimination can accumulate over a lifetime and impact earnings, savings and Social Security benefits.
SAGE (Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders) is the country's largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) older adults. Founded in 1978 and headquartered in New York City, SAGE is a national organization that offers supportive services and consumer resources to LGBT older adults and their caregivers, advocates for public policy changes that address the needs of LGBT older people, and provides training for aging providers and LGBT organizations through its National Resource Center on LGBT Aging. With offices in New York City, Washington, DC and Chicago, SAGE coordinates a growing network of 26 local SAGE affiliates in 19 states and the District of Columbia. Learn more at sageusa.org and lgbtagingcenter.org.