LGBT Bill of Rights Legislation Being Heard

On March 28, legislation that would create a Lesbian, Gay, and Bi-Sexual and Transgender (LGBT) Bill of Rights for long-term care facility residents will be heard in the Senate Human Services Committee.

SB 219 (Weiner, D-San Francisco) aims to address the rights of LGBT residents in long-term care facilities, and prohibits the facility from taking specified actions based on a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) status.

While LeadingAge California members have long championed the right of freedom of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, we are concerned that the legislation includes a private right of action for current and former residents to seek legal remedies outside of the current regulatory processes. We are concerned that including a private right of action in the legislation will only serve to increase litigation against long-term care facilities, as well drive up liability insurance premiums for our member communities.

LeadingAge California has been working with the author’s office to secure an amendment that would eliminate the private right of action from the legislation. At this time, we are opposed to SB 219 unless it is amended to remove the private right of action.

If the legislation gets out of the Senate Human Services Committee, it will be heard next in the Senate Judiciary Committee.