Lambda Legal filed suit today, Wednesday, July 27, against Glen St. Andrew Living Community in Niles, Ill. for failing to protect Marsha Wetzel, a lesbian senior who is a resident of the facility. In her suit, she claims the facility and its administrators failed to protect her from “harassment, discrimination and violence she has endured at the hands of other residents because of her sex and sexual orientation.”
From Karen Loewy, Lambda Legal Senior Attorney and Seniors Program Strategist:
Glen St. Andrew calls itself ‘a community of caring,’ but when the staff ignores the harassment and violence directed at Marsha, they are not caring at all.
There is a clear pattern of discrimination here. The facility and its staff have ignored our client’s pleas for help after being harassed and attacked because she is a lesbian and because she is a woman who loved and created a family with another woman for 30 years.
Marsha deserves the same compassionate care and safety provided for all the other seniors at Glen St. Andrew but instead, the staff have created an environment where it is acceptable to isolate, harass and attack someone because of who they are and who they loved.
Over the weekend, the Coalition for Aging LGBT held a conference at the SMU campus in Plano to discuss issues that included treatment of LGBT elderly in assisted living and nursing facilities.