BLF 2010-2011 postgraduate fellow Daniel Redman writes with an update on his project:
In 2010, the Berkeley Law Foundation awarded me a fellowship to start my project, the Del Martin Memorial LGBT Elder Advocacy Initiative. Housed at the Elder Law Project of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, the Del Martin Initiative fights discrimination against LGBT elders through litigation, legislative advocacy, and outreach.
In just a year, because of BLF’s help, I’ve been able to represent clients across the country in disputes with state and federal benefits agencies, officials who disrespected their life-planning documents, and long-term care facilities. I’ve worked with LGBT aging activists across California and the country to push for better implementation of laws protecting LGBT elders that are already on the books and for new laws to extend protections further. The outreach component has included presentations, articles, and publications to promote LGBT elder empowerment. After publishing two articles with Aging Today on LGBT elder issues, I was invited on to the masthead as a contributing writer. I’ve made nearly a dozen presentations to academics, service providers, and elder groups, spoken about LGBT elder issues on KALW’s “Cityvisions” program, and plan to finish publications on the needs of low-income LGBT elders and funeral rights issues by the end of the summer. The BLF fellowship makes this work possible. Without your support, this project could not have gotten off the ground.
The Del Martin Initiative has received additional funding, and will be an ongoing project at NCLR.