lgbt elder law: toward equity in aging - Harvard Law School

Feb 2, 2009 - BIA NEWS SERVICE, Mar. 1, 2005, http://jscms.jrn.columbia.edu/cns/2005-03-01/alderman. -greygays. Alderman quotes a LGBT elder housing ...
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LGBT ELDER LAW: TOWARD EQUITY IN AGING NANCY J. KNAUER*

TABLE

OF

CONTENTS

I. LGBT Elders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A. The Numbers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . B. The Making of the Pre-Stonewall Generation . . . . . . . . . . 1. History . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2. The Psychoanalytic Model of Homosexuality . . . . . . . II. Ageism and Homophobia. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A. The Invisibility of LGBT Elders: The De-Sexualized Senior and the Hypersexual Homosexual . . . . . . . . . . . . . . B. Ageism within the LGBT Community . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1. Age Cohorts and Ageism within the LGBT Community . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2. Internalized Fear of the Predatory Homosexual . . . . C. Homophobia and Heteronormativity within the Senior Community and Aging Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . III. LGBT Elderlaw Advocacy: Legal and Policy Issues . . . . . . . . A. Same-Sex Marriage, Chosen Families, and Heteronormative Federal Aging Policies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1. Same-Sex Marriage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2. Chosen Families and Legal Strangers . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3. The Link Between Financial Insecurity and Heteronormative Federal Policies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . a. Social Security . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . b. Medicare and Medicaid . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . B. Non-Discrimination in Employment, Health Care, and Housing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1. The Wages of Past Discrimination . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2. Statutory Reform: ENDA, Fair Housing Act, and Older Americans Act . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . C. Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Symbolic Messages, and Veterans’ Service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . D. A Final Word about the Need for LGBT-Positive Housing and Eldercare . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . IV. Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

* Professor of Law, Beasley School of Law, Temple University.

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Harvard Journal of Law & Gender

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[Vol. 32

On June 16, 2008, Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon, longtime lesbian activists who were both well into their eighties, became the first same-sex couple to marry legally in California.1 Widely covered in the press, their wedding ceremony was presided over by San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, as a jubilant crowd of supporters and a scattering of protestors waited outside City Hall.2 The elderly couple had been together for fifty-five years.3 They started the first lesbian organization in the 1950s and authored the groundbreaking book, Lesbian/Woman in 1972—when homosexuality was still classified as a mental illness by the American Psychiatric Association (“APA”).4 The couple’s long-standing commitment to the movement for LGBT equality, and to each other, made them the obvious choice for this historic first.5