A new California law establishes a Bill of Rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) residents of long-term care facilities, including California’s eight Veterans Homes, which provide residential and long-term care services to about 2,200 veterans and their spouses.
Senate Bill 219 makes it unlawful for any long-term care facility to deny admission, transfer or refuse to transfer a resident, or discharge or evict a resident from a facility, based on the basis of a person’s actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or HIV status.
The new bill doesn’t change how CalVet operates, but it serves to formalize our best practices.
“Treating everyone in our care with dignity and respect has always been a hallmark of operations at our Veterans Homes,” said CalVet Secretary Dr. Vito Imbasciani. “We take extra care to ensure that LGBT veterans are treated fairly, just as we work to ensure that all veterans have access to the benefits they have earned — regardless of their race, origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation.”
Imbasciani, a gay married father of two, was featured in a November 2017 article in the Bay Area Reporter.
SB 219 also makes it unlawful to willfully and repeatedly fail to use a resident’s preferred name or pronouns, after being clearly informed of the preferred name or pronouns.
It requires employees to receive online training on “building respect for LGBT older adults,” and requires that each facility post a specified notice regarding non-discrimination alongside its current policies.
California Veterans Homes are located in Yountville, Barstow, Chula Vista, Lancaster, Ventura, West Los Angeles, Fresno and Redding. Residents enjoy numerous activities, including social events and outings, dances, patriotic programs, volunteer activities, arts and crafts and computer access.