Sexual orientation and gender identity are now officially included in “sex” discrimination under the Fair Housing Act. While our office has been acting under this assumption for decades, we both applaud and are hopeful for what this official declaration means for our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and gender nonconforming community members.
Jeanine M. Worden, Acting Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing & Equal Opportunity, announced last Friday that HUD is the first federal agency to formally implement President Biden’s Executive Order 13988 on Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation.
“Under the President’s Order, and in collaboration with HUD’s Office of General Counsel, we have concluded that the Fair Housing Act… prohibits sex discrimination because of sexual orientation and gender identity,” wrote Worden. “HUD-funded housing discrimination studies indicate that same-sex couples and transgender persons in communities across the country experience demonstrably less favorable treatment than their straight and cisgender counterparts when seeking rental housing.”
The Memo also directs all HUD offices and recipients of HUD funds to enforce the Act accordingly.
Sexual Orientation and Housing Discrimination in Michigan, Michigan Fair Housing Centers