Four Ways Ben Carson Could Impact LGBTQ Americans as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development

by HRC Staff

Call Your Senators Today Oppose Carson’s Nomination: 202-224-3121

Post submitted by Hayley Miller, former HRC Associate Director of Digital and Social

Everyday the Housing and Urban Development Department (HUD) supports millions of individuals and families nationwide through lifeline programs providing assisted and public housing, emergency shelter and supportive housing, and mortgage and loan assistance. Access to this assistance can be life-changing -- it can keep families intact, provide shelter safe from violence, and help make the dream of home ownership a reality.

Throughout his public life, Ben Carson, Donald Trump’s choice for HUD Secretary, has made clear he opposes equality for LGBTQ people-- and his confirmation hearing last week was no exception. When asked by Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) whether he would enforce LGBTQ housing protections, Carson said, “... I don’t think anyone should get ‘extra rights’.” Carson, whose harmful rhetoric has included equating marriage equality with bestiality, also opposes laws that protect LGBTQ Americans from discrimination. He has joked that same-sex couples might have their wedding cakes poisoned by anti-equality bakers, asserted that being LGBTQ is a “choice,” and suggested that transgender people be required to use separate bathrooms.

As Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Ben Carson would be in charge of:

  1. Addressing the epidemic of homeless youth, up to 40% of whom identify as LGBTQ.
  2. Ensuring LGBTQ Americans receive access to the protections of the federal Fair Housing Act  (FHA) by reiterating and promoting guidance encouraging an interpretation of the statute that prohibits discrimination based on both sex stereotyping and gender nonconformity as unlawful sex discrimination.
  3. Ensuring access to HUD-funded housing units to LGBTQ people without discrimination.
  4. Ensuring equal access to emergency shelters, FHA loans, and assisted housing, and enforcing federal regulations that require entities that provide such services to treat recipients in accordance with their gender identity.

It is essential that any incoming Secretary not only exhibits a working knowledge of HUD programs, but also a sincere commitment to ensuring fair and equal access for all people regardless of who they are and who they love. Dr. Carson’s record of hostility and discriminatory remarks regarding LGBTQ people directly conflicts with these fundamental qualities and disqualifies him from this role.

HRC urges Senators to oppose Carson’s nomination. Join us and call your Senators to speak out against Carson’s nomination: 202-224-3121

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