The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Task Force:
Inga Sarda-Sorensen

Cathy Renna

LGBT Seniors to Benefit From HHS Plans for Creation of National Resource Center


The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and Services and
Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Elders (SAGE)
applaud the announcement by Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary
Kathleen Sebelius of plans to establish the first national resource
center to assist communities across the country in their efforts to
provide services and support to older lesbian, gay, bisexual and
transgender (LGBT) people. The Task Force and SAGE have been working
collaboratively as part of the New Beginning Initiative to advocate for
the needs of LGBT seniors.

The New Beginning Initiative is a Task Force-coordinated
collaboration of more than 20 national LGBT organizations moving to
promote change within federal agencies to improve the lives of LGBT
people. LGBT aging issues have been a focus of this collaboration, and
have been identified as a priority issue for the Task Force.

Statement by Rea Carey, Executive Director
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

"This announcement from HHS marks a critical step to address the
needs of a highly vulnerable and largely invisible aging population.
This national resource center will provide information and resources to
mainstream aging organizations and to lesbian, gay, bisexual and
transgender organizations that want to reach out to their aging
community. We know that invisibility leads to greater social isolation,
which is acknowledged as a major problem for people as they age, and
can be particularly difficult for LGBT people. The National Gay and
Lesbian Task Force and SAGE are genuinely pleased that the
Administration on Aging is moving to create more safe and welcoming
services for LGBT seniors. Up until now, such services have been few
and far between."

Statement by Michael Adams, Executive Director,

Services and Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Elders (SAGE)

"SAGE, the entire LGBT aging field and all those who work with and
care for LGBT older adults, are thrilled by this announcement. This
resource center is a truly historic recognition of the needs of LGBT
older adults across the country and will make a huge difference in the
lives of so many seniors. For too long, programs that serve LGBT older
people have been ignored and shut out from most public funding, and
there has been no federal funding to help mainstream aging services
become educated about and sensitive to the unique needs of LGBT older
adults. With this announcement, the Department of Health and Human
Services and the Obama administration have taken a big step in the
right direction to correct that wrong as a matter of both policy and

To learn more about the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, follow us on Twitter: @TheTaskForce.

To learn more about SAGE, visit

The National LGBTQ Task Force advances full freedom, justice and equality for LGBTQ people. We are building a future where everyone can be free to be their entire selves in every aspect of their lives. Today, despite all the progress we've made to end discrimination, millions of LGBTQ people face barriers in every aspect of their lives: in housing, employment, healthcare, retirement, and basic human rights. These barriers must go. That's why the Task Force is training and mobilizing millions of activists across our nation to deliver a world where you can be you. Join us!