Resident Non-Discrimination Policy

Produced by the HRC Foundation


LGBTQ+ people experience many forms of discrimination in long-term care because of their sexual orientation (lesbian, gay, and bisexual people), their gender identity or expression (transgender people), and/or their HIV status. An explicitly LGBTQ+ inclusive resident non-discrimination policy can do much to reduce the discrimination that LGBTQ+ residents experience and fear in long-term care settings.

Explicitly inclusive language not only allows LGBTQ+ residents and their friends and family members to feel safe and welcomed in a community – it can be the deciding factor for an LGBTQ+ person when determining where to live.

In addition, the LEI encourages communities to include protection from discrimination based on HIV Status. In 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that nearly half of those newly diagnosed with HIV were 50 years of age and older. Failure to protect those living with HIV from discrimination can result in significant health consequences for residents living with HIV.


Some states are beginning to include specific protections for LGBTQ+ older adults in long-term care. California enacted the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Long-Term Care Facility Residents’ Bill of Rights in 2017 which makes it unlawful for “any long-term care facility to take specified actions or wholly or partially on the basis of a person’s actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or human immonodeficiency virus (HIV) status…”

Other states do not protect LGBTQ+ people from discrimination in long-term care or in employment, housing and public accomodations. In some cases, inclusion of one or more of the terms “sexual orientation,” “gender identity or expression,” and “HIV status” are not included in state non-discrimination laws. Adding “sexual orientation,” “gender identity or expression,” and “HIV Status” to a non-discrimination policy signals a clear and welcome commitment to equity and inclusion and offers legal protections to residents within the community.

LEI Survey Questions

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