HUD Announces Halt to Anti-Transgender Proposal

April 22, 2021 • 5:00 pm

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced that it will no longer attempt to modify the Equal Access Rule to ban transgender people from homeless shelters. The announcement follows news from February that HUD will administer and enforce the Fair Housing Act to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity as forms of sex discrimination.

Kasey Suffredini, CEO and national campaign director of Freedom for All Americans, issued the following statement:

“Today’s announcement by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is a welcome end to a discriminatory proposal that would have put transgender people at risk of not being able to access lifesaving housing. This victory is the latest evidence of momentum in support of LGBTQ nondiscrimination protections nationwide. But the truth is that LGBTQ Americans remain vulnerable to discrimination in a majority of states due to a patchwork of differing laws. Congress should finish the job and make protections permanent by passing the Equality Act as soon as possible and updating our civil rights laws to reflect our nation’s values of freedom and equal opportunity.”

The positive movement by HUD follows an executive order by President Biden directing all federal agencies to implement the decision in Bostock v. Clayton County issued by the U.S. Supreme Court last year. The 6-3 ruling found that LGBTQ people are protected against employment discrimination under existing civil rights laws that prohibit sex discrimination.

President Biden, Senate Majority Leader Schumer, and House Speaker Pelosi have all pledged to make passage of the Equality Act one of the top priorities of the 117th Congress. The Equality Act would ensure explicit and uniform LGBTQ nondiscrimination protections nationwide in virtually all areas of life — including protections in public places like restaurants and stores and most federal funding. These are areas of life that will not be reached by the Bostock decision but in which LGBTQ people experience substantial harm and discrimination.

This week, Freedom for All Americans joined the Freedom and Opportunity for All coalition in an Equality Act Week of Action. As part of the effort, the coalition held a Lobby Day in which members recruited nearly 500 constituents who participated in 75 different meetings with lawmakers in 38 states to talk about the urgency of passing the Equality Act as soon as possible. Participants included LGBTQ people who would be directly affected by the legislation, allies, parents of transgender youth, people of faith, business owners, conservatives, and more. Additional components of the week of action include letter-writing parties, social media trainings and activations, and creation of toolkits and resources to better allow Americans to be able to amplify support for the Equality Act.

Freedom for All Americans is the bipartisan campaign to secure full nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people nationwide. Our work brings together Republicans and Democrats, businesses large and small, people of faith, and allies from all walks of life to make the case for comprehensive nondiscrimination protections that ensure everyone is treated fairly and equally.

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