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The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development wants gay input for a
new study designed to measure housing discrimination on the basis of
sexual orientation and gender identity.
According to The Washington Post,HUD will enlist residents in three cities with large gay populations -- Chicago, New York, and San Francisco -- beginning Thursday to help determine "creative" ways to conduct the first-of-its-kind national study.
"Bias complaints and lawsuits nationwide make clear that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people face housing discrimination, from being turned down for apartments to being steered away from certain neighborhoods, but no one has tried to track how common such bias is. HUD hopes to begin collecting data next year," reports the Post.
Unlike past federal studies that tested racial discrimination in housing, the problem with an antigay discrimination housing study is that, unlike race in most cases, sexual orientation and gender identity often are not obvious.
Study proponents want the effort to result in a change in federal law.
"The federal Fair Housing Act, which prohibits discrimination in sales and rentals of homes, doesn't cover gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people," reports the Post. "Advocates hope HUD's effort to gather data could be a first step toward obtaining legal protections."