HUD Fair Housing Campaign Includes LGBTs
BY Advocate.com Editors
April 08 2011 1:35 PM ET
Though federal fair housing laws don't protect against anti-LGBT discrimination, the Department of Housing and Urban Development has launched a campaign to protect against discrimination on the basis of gender stereotypes.
The effort is part of HUD's "Live Free" campaign that will run through the year in print ads and online initiatives.
Passed in 1968, the Fair Housing Act prohibits landlords and home sellers from discriminating against people based on characteristics such as race, religion, sex, and disability.
"Housing discrimination against someone who is LGBT may, in certain
circumstances, violate the Act's existing provisions, including its
prohibition against gender discrimination," HUD officials said in a Friday release.
John Trasviña, HUD's assistant secretary for fair housing and equal opportunity, said in the release that the agency is working to finalize a rule prohibiting sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination in its programs.
The full press release from HUD:
WASHINGTON — The Department of Housing and Urban Development has launched a new media campaign, "Live Free," that will, among other things, strive to ensure that people have equal access to housing regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity.
The Fair Housing Act prohibits housing discriminate based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, or families with children. While sexual orientation and gender identity are not prohibited bases of discrimination under the federal Fair Housing Act, housing discrimination against someone who is LGBT may, in certain circumstances, violate the Act's existing provisions, including its prohibition against gender discrimination.
"While 20 states and over 200 local governments have led the way to make LGBT-related housing discrimination illegal, HUD is firmly committed to supporting the right of LGBT individuals and families to lead productive and dignified lives, free from housing discrimination and fear of retaliation," said John Trasviña, HUD Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. "HUD is finalizing a federal rule to ensure that HUD housing and programs are open to all, irrespective of marital status, gender identify, and sexual orientation."
The "Live Free" print advertisements are focused to particular targeted audiences. For example, one print ad reads "Should Gender Stereotypes Influence Where You Live? Learn More." "Live Free" campaign will run throughout the year and include Facebook ads, targeted print ads, digital videos, and podcasts.
In 2010, HUD provided guidance to its staff on how to more effectively address inquiries from LGBT individuals regarding housing discrimination issues and also launched a webpage for the public on LGBT housing discrimination. Since then, HUD's housing discrimination complaint level from LGBT individuals has increased significantly. From July 1, 2010 to February 28, 2011, LGBT individuals filed 47 complaints of housing discrimination alleging gender discrimination with HUD. During the same period straddling 2009 and 2010 prior to issuance of the guidance, HUD only received 3 such complaints.
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