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Other participants commented that some employers may allow partner’s access to health insurance, but they would still require legal documents:  “It depends where they are working. Nowadays, there are some businesses that allow it, but they need to have written and legal documents.” Even when the domestic partnership laws are being implemented in some states, employers still have the right not to offer insurance to partners at their discretion. (5) Unique health needs – One respondent mentioned that people in the LGBT older community are likely to suffer from high blood pressure and from abusing drugs, which increase sexual activity and hence, the risk of sexually transmitted infections, because they do not use condoms. They also suffer from poor diets, lack of exercise, depression and anxiety. These problems were repeatedly mentioned by the focus group participants as well.  “People feel pressured by others who are sexually active and without thinking , they begin to abuse medication so they can compete with the group…” Civic Engagement Almost all participants were passionate about causes ranging from same-sex marriage and affordable housing and nutrition to educational opportunities to LGBT and civil rights and access to services. However, many felt that there were a number of barriers to volunteering. There was a fear of rejection, linguistic barriers and a lack of knowledge about their rights:  “There is a fear of rejection, lack of orientation, fear of not knowing how to be fully involved and not knowing their rights. But more than anything is the language barrier.” Others mentioned linguistic barriers and immigration status as possible barriers to the LGBT community becoming more active in society. The participants stressed the need for education of the public in general about issues of different sexual identities to overcome the barriers to LGBT individuals’ civic engagement.  “What we need to do is educate our community about issues of sexual orientation. There is a lot of prejudice.” Need for More Research A respondent from Washington, DC, who works with LGBT Hispanic older adults, highlighted the need to study this neglected group and generate evidence that will become the basis of better public policies and dissipate public prejudices against LGBT people.

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In Their Own Words: Hispanic LGBT Older Adults  

This report was created by the National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCOA) in partnership with SAGE and sponsored by the Diverse Elder Coalit...

In Their Own Words: Hispanic LGBT Older Adults  

This report was created by the National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCOA) in partnership with SAGE and sponsored by the Diverse Elder Coalit...

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