Legislation sponsored by Sens. Troy Singleton, D-7th District; Richard Codey, D-27th District; and Joseph Vitale, D-19th District, that would establish requirements concerning the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, queer and intersex residents in long-term care facilities, passed the Senate Health, Human Services, and Senior Citizens Committee on Monday.
“Older members of the LGBTQI community have significant concerns about being discriminated against as they age, especially when seeking long-term care services and support,” said Singleton. “Our aging population deserves to know that their civil rights will be protected, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.”
“This is a civil rights issue, plain and simple,” said Codey. “If this bill becomes law, we will join California as the only other state to protect the rights of LGBTQI resident in long-term care facilities, where we will be an example for other states across the country.”
“Discrimination will not go away on its own. Therefore, we need to address issues of discrimination with the LGBTQ community head on,” said Vitale. “New Jersey should and can lead to protect the rights of our residents.”
The bill, Senate Bill 3484, would establish certain requirements concerning the rights of residents of long-term care facilities who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, queer, or intersex.
Specifically, the bill would prohibit a long-term care facility, or staff at the facility, to take actions based in whole or in part on a person’s actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) status, including denying admission to a long-term care facility, transfer or refuse to transfer a resident within a facility, or discharge, evict a resident from a facility, or deny a request by residents to share a room.
In addition, all facilities would be required to prominently post a notice stating that the facility does not discriminate and does not permit discrimination. This would include bullying, abuse, or harassment, on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or HIV status. It would also be based on association with another individual on account of that individual’s actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or HIV status.
The bill was released from committee by a vote of 8-1.