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After Marriage EqualityThe Future of LGBT Rights$
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Carlos A. Ball

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781479883080

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479883080.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM NYU Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.nyu.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of NYU Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NYSO for personal use.date: 06 July 2022

LGBT Elders

LGBT Elders

Making the Case for Equity in Aging

(p.105) 4 LGBT Elders
After Marriage Equality

Nancy J. Knauer

NYU Press

This chapter addresses the topic of LGBT elders and their interests, a subject that has received little attention by LGBT organizations and activists. It notes that although marriage equality offers LGBT elders a much needed measure of legal protection and security, the right to marry fails to address some of the most pressing issues facing such elders, including the legal fragility of their extended chosen families, their disproportionately high levels of financial insecurity, and their fear of encountering anti-LGBT bias across a wide range of senior services. The chapter also uses LGBT elder issues to make two broader points about the nature and future of LGBT rights advocacy. First, that while emphasizing the similarities between sexual minorities and heterosexuals can be helpful in some settings, it fails to address disparities between the two groups. Second, that LGBT elders challenge the strong claims of shared identity that undergird the contemporary LGBT rights movement. Many members of the older generation, for example, do not identify as homosexual or gay, much less as “out and proud.” As a result, they stand as living examples of the historically contingent nature of LGBT identity.

Keywords:   LGBT elders, marriage equality, identity

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