Senator Kerry Introduces First-Ever Senate Bill on LGBT Housing Discrimination
September 22, 2011 by Brian Moulton, Legal Director
Today, Senator John Kerry (D-MA) introduced, for the first time in the United States Senate, legislation that would prohibit discrimination against LGBT people in housing and credit. The bill, called the Housing Opportunities Made Equal (HOME) Act, extends federal protections under the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act to the LGBT community. Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) introduced similar legislation in the House last Congress and is again the lead sponsor of a companion to Senator Kerry’s bill introduced today. In March of last year, Congressman Nadler chaired a House subcommittee hearing on the Fair Housing Act that, for the first time, included a discussion of LGBT housing discrimination. As that hearing demonstrated, despite advances for LGBT people, many in our community still face discrimination in finding and keeping a home, simply because of who they are. In fact, only 20 states and DC have housing protections in place based on sexual orientation, and only 15 states and DC also include gender identity in their housing laws. While the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has taken important steps to study LGBT housing discrimination, prohibit discrimination against LGBT people and families in HUD programs and require its grantees to abide by state and local housing discrimination laws that protect LGBT people, it is still critically important that Congress act to ensure there are uniform protections for our community across the country.
For more information, read Senator Kerry’s press release here.
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