Opening Doors for Older Lesbians and Gay Men

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2002 National Lesbian & Gay Conference
1 August 2002
Carried as Amended

Conference congratulates the work carried out by Age Concern in highlighting the needs of older lebians and gay men in respect of service provision.

Conference applauds Age Concerns’s Conference “Opening Doors” held in April 2002 which brought service providers, policy makers and service users together to discuss the needs of older lesbians and gay men. Conference notes that the Conference was supplemented by the publication of a resource pack for service providers.

Conference is concerned, however, that the pack and Conference did not reflect the diversity of ageing lesbian and gay community in particular the lack of visibility of older black and disabled lesbians and gay men and the failure to include disability, disablism, race and racism as issues.

Conference notes that Age Concern have contacted delegates to the Conference to respond to a consultation on what future action needs to be taken to open the doors more wider for older lesbians and gay men.

Conference further notes that there is a culture of ageism within the lesbian and gay community and that there remains homophobia and lack of visibility of and against older lesbians and gay men in wider society. Conference futher recognises that older black and disabled lesbians and gay men face layers of oppression including racism and disablism both within the lesbian and gay community, within the older community and society in general.

Conference welcomes the introduction in 2003 of anti – discrimination in employment legislation which will include sexual orientation but notes that such legislation covering age discrimination will not come into force until 2006.

Conference instructs the National Lesbian and Gay Committee (NLGC) to:

1.Publicise the availability of the resource pack to branches and to employers in respect of their service provision

2.Contact Age Concern to open up dialogue on needs of older lesbians and gay men with specific reference to the needs of older Black and disabled lesbians and gay men.

3.Raise the issue with the different service group executives with a view to producing guidance for the employers