Governor Murphy signs LGBTQ Bill of Rights

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New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation that will establish rights and protections for LGBTQ older adults.

The bill prohibits long-term care facilities from discriminating in New Jersey

Older adults in the LGBTQ community in New Jersey have new protections. Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation on March 3, 2021 that will establish rights and protections for LGBTQ older adults.

“Today’s bill signing underscores this commitment to our LGBTQI+ older adults and HIV-positive residents in long-term care facilities by providing critical protections from discrimination,” said Murphy. “No one should ever feel ashamed for who they are and everyone should be able to live with the dignity and equality that they deserve.”

The LGBTQ Senior Bill of Rights will prohibit long-term care facilities from discriminating against a person based on sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, intersex status, or HIV status. The new law prohibits denying admission to, transferring, discharging, or evicting a resident or opposing a request by residents to share a room. It forbids making a resident have to use a restroom based on gender or failing to use a resident’s chosen name or pronouns despite being informed. The law also prohibits denying a resident from wearing clothing, accessories, or cosmetics of their choice or restricting a resident’s right to engage with other residents or with visitors. The bill prohibits denying, restricting, or providing unequal medical or non-medical care or declining to provide any service, care, or unreasonable accommodation.

“Many older adults in the LGBTQI+ community have experienced decades of stigma and discrimination,” Bill sponsor Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle said. “We’ve worked tirelessly in New Jersey to protect the rights of LGBTQI+ people but there’s more we can do.”