Queer Up The USA

HUD bars anti-LGBTQ discrimination in housing and rentals

For the first time ever, it will be illegal to turn away people looking to rent an apartment or buy a house simply because they are queer. Officials in the Department of Housing and Urban Development announced Thursday that the agency was implementing President Joe Biden’s executive order barring discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
On Wednesday afternoon, HUD officials told reporters in a press call that housing discrimination against LGBTQ+ was rampant and “demands urgent enforcement action.” HUD said “Every person should be able to secure a roof over their head, free from discrimination and the action we will take tomorrow will move us closer to that goal,” Last June, the Supreme Court ruled that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits sex discrimination, covers sexual orientation and gender identity in the workplace. Courts have since interpreted that ruling to mean that sex discrimination protects LGBTQ+ people in many areas of life, including housing, public accommodations, health care and education. Biden’s executive order directed federal agencies to similarly apply the Supreme Court ruling in their agencies. Because the Fair Housing Act already bars sex discrimination, officials said, a new law is not required to protect LGBTQ+ people who are looking to buy a home or rent a house. HUD is the first agency to implement the measures in the January 20 executive order, a move that has as much symbolic meaning as it does practical significance.

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