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Tuesday, 24 July, 2001, 23:59 GMT 00:59 UK
Charity targets rights for elderly gays
One in 15 users of Age Concern services is homosexual
A charity for older people is to address rights issues for elderly lesbian and gay people for the first time.

Age Concern is to launch a new publication that aims to raise awareness of the existence and needs of older homosexuals to ensure they enjoy "full and equal access" to services.

The resource pack "Opening Doors" is the latest in a series of 24 aimed at various aspects of services for older people.

There are still barriers to break down and many doors yet to be opened

Gordon Lishman, Age Concern
A charity spokesman said the latest publication highlights Age Concern England's growing role in the promotion of older lesbian and gay issues.

Some research suggests that as many as 6.5% of people in the UK are exclusively homosexual.

The charity says this suggests that one in every 15 users of Age Concern services is a lesbian or gay man.

Age Concern England's director general, Gordon Lishman, said: "The situation for most lesbian and gay people at the beginning of the 21st century is more positive, secure and affirming that at any time in our history.

"However, the majority of older people have lived a large part of their lives in less liberal times.

"Although much has changed to encourage greater trust and understanding, there are still barriers to break down and many doors yet to be opened."

Opening Doors is aimed at anyone working with or interested in developing services for older people, including with lesbians and gays.

See also:

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27 Jun 01 | UK
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30 Jun 00 | UK
Gay rights in the pulpit
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