California law forces Meals on Wheels to ask elderly recipients if they’re gay or trans
CALIFORNIA, October 24, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Meals on Wheels programs around the world help feed elderly people and others physically incapable of obtaining or preparing their own meals, but California recipients have started receiving something less welcome with their service: grilling about their sexual attraction and “gender identity.”
On Tuesday, the Sacramento Bee highlighted the experience of Carol Alexander, an 83-year-old recipient who was taken aback by a recent phone call from Sacramento County’s Meals on Wheels program, asking questions including “What is your sex,” “Do you still associate with your gender,” and “Are you heterosexual?”
“I was in shock. I took offense to that,” said Alexander. “I’m ticked off. Why do they ask an 83-year-old this?”
The questions were mandated by the state’s LGBT Disparities Reduction Act, signed by Democrat Gov. Jerry Brown, which took effect in July. The law requires meal-delivery services to present sexual and gender minorities (SGM) survey questions to recipients, in order to conduct demographic data pertaining to potential disparities in poverty, health, and “hate crimes” among “LGBT” Californians.
“It is in the best interests of the state to respect, embrace, and understand the full diversity of its residents and to collect accurate data to effectively implement and deliver critical state services and programs,” the bill claims.
David Morikawa, the program director for the area’s Meals on Wheels program, stressed that the questions are entirely voluntary and recipients’ services will not be affected if they decline to answer.
“We just want to make sure we’re representing the people that are in our community,” he said.
But Alexander told the Bee that the “stupid” questions offended her so much that she has considered withdrawing from the program, despite having recently suffered a stroke.
“It just blows my mind that they have to do this,” she said.
Despite offending some of the people the program is meant to serve, The Advocate reports that the new questions “are actually seen as a victory for LGBTQ advocates.” The Bee adds that Democrats such as Sen. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin have introduced legislation requiring similar questions to be added to various nationwide surveys.
Such legislation has little chance of being signed by President Donald Trump, whose administration will not ask about LGBT status in the 2020 census, has deleted LGBT-specific information from various government websites, and is reportedly considering an official definition of “sex” that ignores self-declared “gender identity” in favor of strictly biological criteria.
In March 2017, Trump’s Department of Health and Human Services removed a question about sexual orientation from the annual National Survey of Older Americans Act Participants, but restored it in June it after homosexual activists objected.