Straights Need Not Apply, for City of West Hollywood Guaranteed Income Pilot Project

The West Hollywood website:

In collaboration with the National Council of Jewish Women/LA nonprofit partner, the City of West Hollywood will accept applications to the pilot project of guaranteed income. This is a study that examines the effects of cash payments on financial stability and quality of living for LGBTQIA seniors. Guaranteed income is a direct and regular cash payment – no strings attached – provided to a specific group of people for a designated time. Pilots of Guaranteed Income are used to evaluate the effect of these payments. They also serve as a tool to financially stabilize members of communities and provide information that can be used to create evidence-based policy and programs in the future.

Program requirements state that the applicant must be able to identify as Lesbians Gays Bisexuals Transgenders Gays Gays (LGBTQIA),) and be at least 50 years old.

California’s Supreme Court, however, stated explicitly (interpreting the equal protection clause in the state constitution) that any statute that provides differential treatment based on sexual orientation is subject to strict scrutiny. Equal protection principles are applicable to all programs that the government participates in, even if it is “joint involvement” with a private person. They also apply to any classifications not written in the statute.

This is the explanation provided by the program for sexual orientation discrimination. It suffices to justify it.

Due to the City’s historical and current population, West Hollywood will be focusing on LGBTQIA seniors with low incomes. Data also shows that LGBT older adult are less financially secure that their non-LGBT counterparts.

Although I am skeptical, it is interesting to know what the city could offer in court to prove my suspicions.