“We chose that group because of the demographics in West Hollywood, where 45% of residents identify as LGBT, and 25% identify as older adults or senior citizens”
The city of West Hollywood in California is launching a pilot program to disburse guaranteed monthly income to approximately twenty-five people, but there’s a catch.
The program is limited to senior citizens who identify as LGBTQIA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex or Asexual).
Eugene Volokh reports at Reason:
Straights Need Not Apply, for City of West Hollywood Guaranteed Income Pilot Project
From the West Hollywood site:
The City of West Hollywood, in collaboration with nonprofit partner, National Council of Jewish Women/LA, will open applications for the first pilot project for guaranteed income in the nation aimed at evaluating the impact of cash payments on the financial stability and quality of life of LGBTQIA older adults. Guaranteed income is a direct and regular cash payment – no strings attached – provided to a specific group of people for a designated time. Guaranteed income pilots are a way to test the impact of these payments, while also providing a service to help financially stabilize community members and learn information to help create future, evidence-based policies and programs.
The program makes clear that, to be eligible, the applicant must (among other things) “Identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex or Asexual (LGBTQIA),” as well as be poor and 50 or older.
The California Supreme Court, as it happens, has expressly held (interpreting the state constitution’s equal protection clause) that “statutes according differential treatment on the basis of sexual orientation are subject to the strict scrutiny standard of review.”
The city doesn’t seem too concerned about controversy or questions. They’re pushing the program on Twitter:
The City of West Hollywood and @NCJWLA will open applications for the first pilot project in the nation for guaranteed income to test the impact of cash payments on the financial stability of LGBTQIA adults 50+.
Application opens Feb 25.
— City of West Hollywood (@WeHoCity) February 19, 2022
People are asking questions, though. Specifically about the LGBTQIA requirement.
This is from an August 2021 report at the San Francisco Chronicle, via MSN:
“We chose that group because of the demographics in West Hollywood, where 45% of residents identify as LGBT, and 25% identify as older adults or senior citizens,” she said. “We know that historically, the older LGBT population has been discriminated against, and they’ve had to deal with the effects of discrimination compounded over years, from the AIDS crisis to being denied the right to marry and missing out on benefits. We decided that this population was the right one to focus on.”
Horvath provided figures showing that 44% of those living in poverty are older than the age of 55 (the Census Bureau estimates that just 14.8% of the city’s population is 65 and older), and that nationally, LGBT people have a 21.6% poverty rate compared with 15.7% for straight cisgender individuals.
Former West Hollywood Mayor Lindsey Horvath is apparently involved with a group called Mayors for a Guaranteed Income:
We’re excited to welcome Mayor @LindseyPHorvath of West Hollywood, CA to MGI! The need for bold leaders has never been greater as our nation endures the ongoing economic crisis. pic.twitter.com/7Pa48i5MvU
— Mayors for a Guaranteed Income (@mayorsforagi) February 1, 2021
What are they going to do if someone who is not LBGTQIA applies for the program?
Don’t you want to find out?
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