Yesterday once more: discrimination and LGBTI+ seniors
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Copyright © 2017 Monash University
The rights of LGBTI+ people in Australia have been part of significant public debate in recent times, especially with the marriage equality postal vote. However, little attention has been paid to the experiences of older LGBTI+ people, particularly those entering or already in aged care facilities. LGBTI+ seniors are far more vulnerable to interactions with care-givers than their heterosexual and cisgender counterparts. Lack of education and understanding of how the law operates has resulted in many LGBTI+ seniors being unaware of how the legal system can be used to protect themselves against discrimination. Historical discrimination has also made many LGBTI+ seniors unwilling to engage with the legal system. As a result, information on the unique experiences of LGBTI+ seniors remain scarce, and steps to ensure awareness and implementation of laws that protect LGBTI+ seniors against discrimination have been minimal. This article seeks to address such concerns by providing a detailed outline of the legal protections available to LGBTI+ seniors in accommodation, financial and health issues, and suggesting solutions to ensure the greater protection of LGBTI+ seniors against discrimination. This research is especially pertinent due to consideration of LGBTI+ seniors in the Australian Law Reform Commission Inquiry into Elder Abuse. Education, training, and research will be crucial in empowering LGBTI+ seniors to utilise the legal rights available to them.
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