Governor. JB Pritzker has signed Bill 3490 measure into law yesterday that amends the Illinois Act on Aging which will now add protections and services for older LGBT adults.
Senate Bill 3490 was signed by the governor on National Honor Your LGBTQ Elders Day, which recognizes older individuals who fought for equality and led the equality movement that continues to be active. Changes made to the act set up the Illinois Commission on LGBTQ Aging, which will investigate and advise on helping services and needs of older LGBTQ adults improve. “These elder adults are trailblazers in the fight for LGBTQ rights, growing up in an a more hostile time where basic rights were regularly denied based on gender and sexuality,” said Pritzker. “This amendment to the Illinois Act on Aging honors that struggle by ensuring all people can age in dignity with equal access to essential care and social supports.”
A press release later stated that the commission will be responsible for looking into issues relevant to LGBTQ older adults. They include housing, health, caregiver support, psychosocial needs, assisted living and HIV/AIDS specific care. “LGBTQ older adults face unique challenges, and we want Illinois to lead in valuing their identities, expanding access to inclusive services, and meeting the critical needs of this population,” said Paula Basta, director of the Illinois Department on Aging. “This new law affirms the administration’s continued commitment to supporting LGBTQ elders in our communities.”
The LGBT community itself needs to look into the plight of our LGBT seniors. The people responsible for doing the heavy lifting and fought tooth and nail for the rights we all enjoy today are the real “marginalized” and “oppressed” in our community.
Forgotten, spurred, ignored, and dismissed by the younger LGBTQ community the very people who should be exalted are ignored and invisible.
How invisible? How many of you knew that May 16th. was the Annual National Honor Your LGBTQ Elders Day?
I rest my case.