The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is taking intentional steps forward to enforce a new executive order signed by President Biden on Jan. 20, 2021 (his first day in office) that will significantly advance and protect the housing rights of the LGBTQ community.
Across America, housing discrimination against the LGBTQ community remains prevalent. More than one-third of Americans still don’t believe our LGBTQ community deserves protection and dignity in housing, employment, adoption, and other areas of life.
Federal lawyers in the Trump administration had argued that “Title VII’s prohibition on discrimination because of sex does not bar discrimination because of sexual orientation.” By effectively drawing a distinction between sex and sexual identity, the brief aims to carve out the latter from Title VII’s protections.
This new order signed by President Biden serves as a means to fully enforce Title VII as it relates to the LBGTQ community. The policy within this order states: “every person should be treated with respect and dignity and should be able to live without fear, no matter who they are or whom they love.” Further, “people should be able to… secure a roof over their heads without being subjected to sex discrimination. All persons should receive equal treatment under the law, no matter their gender identity or sexual orientation.”
This order is important, as Freedom For All Americans reports, in 27 states, there are no explicit statewide laws at all protecting people from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity in employment, housing, and public accommodations. In 21 states and the District of Columbia, state law protects people from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing, and public accommodations.
From a practical standpoint, the executive order instructs each agency within the U.S. government, including HUD, to review existing orders and policies as well as agency actions as pertaining to Title VII which may be inconsistent with the policy set forth in this order to ensure the prohibition of discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation. A plan for implementing changes is due within 100 days of the order.
The fight for fair treatment of the LBGTQ community as it pertains to housing is not new, GayRealEstate.com as part of their advocacy and giving program have been funding National LGBTQ non-profits fighting for equality for over 25 years.
This Biden/Harris administration executive order promises hope for the future in the eradication of discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation for all Americans.
Jeff Hammerberg is the founding CEO of Hammerberg & Associates, Inc. GayRealEstate.com is the nation’s oldest and largest free database of LGBTQ/LGBTQ-friendly Realtors serving every city coast-to-coast. Choose an agent and start a free conversation today.