Rep. Deutch Lauds Reinstating of Sexual Orientation in Federal Aging Survey
Today, Congressman Ted Deutch (FL-22), Vice Chair of the LGBT Equality Caucus and Chair of the LGBT Aging Issues Task Force, issued this statement after the Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration on Community Living (ACL) decided to reinstate sexual orientation demographic questions as part of their National Survey of Older Americans Act Participants (NSOAAP).
The NSOAAP is used to evaluate whether the billions of dollars in funding for programs assisting older Americans are being used efficiently and effectively. Since 2014, the NSOAAP has included LGBT-specific questions that yielded vital data on the extreme challenges facing LGBT elders. On March 13, 2017, the ACL—which oversees the NSOAAP—revealed that they intended to remove the LGBT-specific questions from the 2017 survey. The decision to restore questions about sexual orientation demographics will preserve valuable data about these programs serving the LGB community.
“This was a victory, albeit incomplete, for the LGBT community. The Trump Administration heard us loud and clear, and reversed course to reinstate sexual orientation questions in the survey. By working together to defend LGBT seniors, we helped ensure that our government will track and address the unique barriers of LGB seniors in accessing federal aging programs.
"However, I am dismayed that the ASL failed to include gender identity questions in the survey, which will leave out crucial data on transgender seniors and their unique struggles. As an advocate for the broad LGBT community, I will continue to fight to reinstate these questions."
On May 12, 2017, Congressman Deutch led 48 of his House colleagues in a letter demanding the Trump Administration reinstate LGBT demographic questions to the NSOAAP.