SAGE: Advocacy & Services for LGBT Elders
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For Immediate Release

March 9, 2018

First Amendment Defense Act Puts LGBT Elder Lives at Risk

Government endorsement of religious discrimination back in play after 2015 failed attempt

[New York, NY] Twenty-two senators just reintroduced the so-called First Amendment Defense Act (FADA). As history has shown, laws like this have nothing to do with protecting religion and everything to do with protecting people who wish to discriminate. Such laws aim to make LGBT people, especially LGBT elders, suffer. SAGE, Columbia University Law School, and the Movement Advancement Project recently issued a report, Dignity Denied: Religion Exemptions and LGBT Elder Services, revealing that 85 percent of nonprofit continuing-care retirement communities are religiously affiliated. Whether they are in long-term care or have a caregiver at home, LGBT older adults would be put at great risk by FADA, which would permit federally funded aging providers to discriminate against them when they are most in need of care.

SAGE 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 advocates for public policy changes that address the needs of LGBT older people. SAGE also offers supportive services and consumer resources to LGBT older adults and their caregivers, provides education and technical assistance for aging providers and LGBT organizations through its National Resource Center on LGBT Aging, and cultural competence training through SAGECare. With staff located across the country, SAGE coordinates a growing network of affiliates across the country. Learn more at

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Christina DaCosta
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