By Michelle Garcia
Originally published on Advocate.com January 20 2011 7:35 PM ET
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has proposed new
regulations to stop discrimination against LGBT people who are seeking
to buy a home or qualify for government-backed housing programs.
“This is a fundamental issue of fairness,” HUD secretary Shaun Donovan said in a statement Thursday. “We have a responsibility to make certain that public programs are open to all Americans. With this proposed rule, we will make clear that a person’s eligibility for federal housing programs is, and should be, based on their need and not on their sexual orientation or gender identity.”
The guidelines would stop lenders from using a person's sexual orientation or gender identity as a basis to determine whether they qualify for a mortgage. HUD officials, when looking to place people in HUD-supported housing, will also be required to consider families in the broad sense, acknowledging that same-sex couples with children do not have the same clear protections as heterosexual married couples with children.