HUD probing gay housing discrimination
Updated 3:25 p.m. ET
The Department of Housing and Urban Development plans to study the impact of housing discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans, fulfilling the wishes of gay rights groups who believe landlords regularly discriminate based on sexual orientation.
HUD officials recently held town hall meetings in Chicago, New York and San Francisco to solicit feedback on how to conduct the study and are also soliciting ideas online.
Local and state groups have conducted studies on gay housing discrimination in certain areas of the country, but there is no definitive national assessment of the issue, HUD said. A 2007 study in Michigan found that nearly 30 percent of same-sex couples were treated differently when trying to buy or rent a home.
A forthcoming study by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force finds that 11 percent of transgender people surveyed said they have been evicted and 19 percent have become homeless because of the bias.
"We know that a segment of our population has repeatedly been shut out of that portion of the American dream, and this must change,” said Rea Carey, executive director of the Task Force.
HUD's decision is another victory for gay rights activists who have fought since the 2008 Bush-Obama transition for a series of changes to federal policy regarding GLBT Americans.
Beyond anticipated changes to the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy and the Census Bureau's impending release of same-sex marriage data, gay leaders have said in the past that they are pushing for several other changes, including a change to federal paperwork so that forms state “Parent 1 and Parent 2” instead of “Father and Mother" and increased federal funding to assist homeless gay teens, among other issues.
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| March 17, 2010; 2:06 PM ET
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