The Department of Housing and Urban
Development (HUD) on Thursday announced that it will immediately
begin to enforce Fair Housing Act protections to prohibit LGBT
HUD's Office of Fair Housing and Equal
Opportunity (FHEO) issued a memorandum stating that HUD interprets
the Fair Housing Act to bar discrimination based on sexual
orientation and gender identity.
The announcement comes after President
Joe Biden, on his first day in office, signed an executive order
implementing the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Bostock v. Clayton
The Supreme Court's Bostock
decision, handed down in June, found that anti-LGBT discrimination is
a form of sex discrimination. The ruling has wide-ranging
implications, affecting policies that prohibit discrimination based
on sex. It specifically prohibits workplace discrimination.
“Housing discrimination on the basis
of sexual orientation and gender identity demands urgent enforcement
action,” FHEO Acting Assistant Secretary Jeanine M. Worden said in
a statement. “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.”
“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,” added Damon Y.
Smith, principal deputy general counsel at HUD.
HUD's FHEO has already started taking
complaints of LGBT discrimination at hud.gov/fairhousing.
Representative Mike Quigley, a Democrat
from Illinois, said that the previous administration was “committed
to enabling discrimination, prejudice, and bigotry.”
“For the past four years I have
fought alongside LGBTQ and housing activists against a Trump-Carson
HUD that was committed to enabling discrimination, prejudice, and
bigotry. Today’s announcement, in the first weeks of the Biden
administration, is a declaration that LGBTQ rights are human rights
and that housing discrimination on the basis of gender identity or
sexual orientation is unacceptable and should be relegated to the
shameful past,” said Quigley. “There is more work to be done to
repair the damage of the last four years, but this is a significant
step into a more just future that we can be proud of.”
Carson: Transgender people in homeless shelters make others “not
Quigley, a vocal supporter of LGBT
rights, last June called on former HUD Secretary Ben Carson to resign
due to his department's anti-LGBT policies. Carson, a 2016
presidential candidate, is openly hostile to LGBT rights.
Carson warns gay marriage will lead to “mass killings,”
transgender people are confused.)