October 2, 2019 at 4:33 pm EDT | by Chris Johnson
House resolution condemns Ben Carson as transphobic
U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

A new resolution introduced by a pair of House Democrats — Reps. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) and Katie Hill (D-Calif.) — denounces Secretary of Housing & Urban Development Ben Carson as transphobic and decries his policies as anti-LGBT.

Quigley and Hill introduced the resolution Tuesday in the aftermath of a Washington Post report last month Carson at a San Francisco shelter made comments about “big, hairy men” seeking to enter women’s homeless shelters. Those who were heard the remarks reportedly thought they were transphobic.

But the resolution spans beyond that time and beyond those words, pointing out Carson has a history of policies and anti-trans comments the lawmakers say enable anti-LGBT discrimination.

Quigley, who has questioned Carson rigorously on his HUD’s commitment to LGBT policies, said in a statement the secretary’s “history of homophobia and transphobia go beyond simply being offensive.”

“They are completely unacceptable for the federal official responsible for ensuring minority populations have access to safe, secure housing,” Quigley said. “At a minimum, he owes an apology to the staff he subjected to his bigoted remarks, to trans individuals around the country, and to the entire LGBT community.”

Among anti-LGBT policies enumerated in the House resolution is HUD’s removal of guidance to homeless shelters on implementing its LGBT non-discrimination rule and proposing a rule allowing facilities to refuse to admit transgender people seeking refuge in sex-segregated shelters according to their gender identity.

Hill, who’s the only bisexual in the U.S. House, said in a statement she has a history of working with homeless shelters and “saw over and over how disproportionately transgender individuals, particularly trans women, experience housing insecurity.”

“Secretary Carson’s comments were hurtful, bigoted, and do not represent the feelings of this Congress, which has a historically large and diverse LGBT Equality Caucus, or the American people,” Hill said.

Prior to HUD making the proposal to carve out its LGBT non-discrimination rule for federally subsidized housing, Carson testified before Congress he had no intention of removing it. Democrats objected when HUD unveiled the new policy in the same week.

Read the resolution here.

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson attends the daily White House press briefings and is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

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