Bernie Sanders has made some major headlines this week, pulling ahead of Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton in a key New Hampshire poll, raking in more than $24 million in the third quarter — just $4 million less than Team Clinton. But for members of the transgender community, nothing could be bigger than a tweet Sanders’s campaign sent on Wednesday:
In many states, it is legal to deny someone housing for being transgender. That is wrong and must end.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) September 28, 2015
Under the current patchwork of housing and discrimination laws, the rights of transgender people are in question in many parts of the United States, as the Sun Times Network's Spectrum website reported. The American Civil Liberties Union website shows how bills to prevent discrimination based on gender identity have basically crawled or stalled in the Republican-controlled Congress.
The reason discrimination against tenants or prospective home buyers based on gender identity may be illegal, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, is that sexual orientation and gender identity aren’t technically covered under the federal Fair Housing Act.
However, transgender Americans can still file complaints if they believe they have been treated unfairly.
And homeless shelters and other housing programs that receive federal funding may be “subject to HUD program regulations intended to ensure equal access of LGBT persons,” the department's website states.
Transgender supporters of Sanders have formed their own Facebook group, with more than 760 members, and they can take heart in both this tweet from his campaign as well as a promise on his website to sign into law any “bill that prohibits discrimination against LGBT people.”
Read why The Advocate called Sanders the presidential candidate who may be the most LGBT-friendly here.