• The multicolored flag of the gay rights movement is seen outside the Supreme Court in Washington after its historic decision on gay marriage in 2015 (MLADEN ANTONOV)Source: MLADEN ANTONOV
“The Trump Administration is literally attempting to erase the LGBTQ community from the fabric of American history."
Michaela Morgan

23 Mar 2017 - 12:04 PM  UPDATED 23 Mar 2017 - 12:04 PM

LGBT+ advocates in the United States have raised concerns that the Department of Health and Human Services is rolling back data collection on the elderly and disabled LGBT+ communities. 

The National Survey of Older Americans Act Participants is an annual survey that collects data from elderly people who take part in meal delivery programs, receive caregiver support or access senior centres.

According to the non-profit liberal advocacy group, the Center for American Progress, the survey began collecting data on LGBT recipients in 2014 and continued to do in 2015 and 2016.

Elderly gay men are concerned about homophobia in nursing homes
“Nursing homes in Australia are often run by church organisations. Some church organisations, though not all, are not particularly welcoming to gay residents,” one 72-year-old said.

The Center says this data is crucial in providing support to the elderly LGBT+ community who face “acute levels of economic insecurity, social isolation and discrimination”.

But the publicly proposed 2017 protocol omits the only question about sexual orientation and gender identity despite a notice announcing that the survey would remain unchanged.

“In an age when LGBT rights are such a part of the national discussion, the Trump administration is choosing to not only ignore us but erase us from the discussion,” said Laura Durso, vice president of the LGBT Research and Communications Project at the Center for American Progress.

Another federal survey that gathers feedback on services provided to the disabled has similarly deleted a question about sexual orientation.

GLAAD President and CEO Kate Ellis says “The Trump Administration is literally attempting to erase the LGBTQ community from the fabric of American history.

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“We were huge - the gay community was massive.”

“Our LGBTQ seniors, many of whom survived the HIV and AIDS epidemic, do not deserve to have the government once again brush them off from obtaining transportation services, caregiver support, and even delivered meals that fit their needs.

“Access to these services is an American right, and this heartless move proves how anti-LGBTQ the Trump Administration has always been from Day One.”