WASHINGTON D.C. — (02-12-21) — The Biden administration announced on Thursday that it is taking action against anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination in housing nationwide. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity released a press release on Thursday that said “HUD interprets the Fair Housing Act to bar discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity and directing HUD offices and recipients of HUD funds to enforce the Act accordingly.”
HUD is the first agency to implement President Joe Biden’s executive order directing federal government departments to follow the findings of the Bostock v. Clayton County Supreme Court decision, which ruled that existing law banning sex discrimination also banned discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
To this day, LGBTQ couples continue to “experience demonstrably less favorable treatment than their straight and cisgender counterparts when seeking rental housing,” but HUD under former secretary Ben Carson, refused to protect LGBTQ Americans from discrimination.
“Housing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity demands urgent enforcement action,” said Jeanine M. Worden, acting assistant secretary of the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “That is why HUD, under the Biden administration, will fully enforce the Fair Housing Act to prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation. Every person should be able to secure a roof over their head free from discrimination, and the action we are taking today will move us closer to that goal.” said Worden.
Damon Y. Smith, principal deputy general counsel added…“Enforcing the Fair Housing Act to combat housing discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity isn’t just the right thing to do — it’s the correct reading of the law after Bostock. We are simply saying that the same discrimination that the Supreme Court has said is illegal in the workplace is also illegal in the housing market.” said Smith.
HUD will investigate complaints of such discrimination going back to January 20, 2020.
Article by: Paul Goldberg, Staff Writer
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