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Posted at 6:00 AM ET, 01/21/2011

In another nod to gays, feds tackling housing bias

By Ed O'Keefe

Eye Opener

In the latest example of the Obama administration extending greater rights to gays and lesbians, the Department of Housing and Urban Development is making changes to ensure they don't face discrimination when applying for federal housing assistance.

The department unveiled a series of proposed rule changes Thursday that would prohibit lenders from using sexual orientation or gender identity as a way of determining a borrower's eligibility. In a nod to same-sex marriages and same-sex parents, the rule change would state that eligible families have the opportunity to participate in HUD-based programs regardless of marital status or sexual orientation.

The new rules, if adopted, also would prohibit owners and operators of HUD-funded housing from asking applicants or occupants of the housing about sexual orientation or gender identity.

HUD is conducting a national study on the potential impact of housing discrimination against gays and lesbians, but in its formal notice of the proposed rules cited a 2007 study of housing discrimination in Michigan that found disparate treatment of gays in 32 out of 120 fair housing tests conducted.

"This is a fundamental issue of fairness," HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan said Thursday.

The proposed rules must undergo a 60-day public comment period before formal implemented. If approved, they would joint a growing list of policy and procedural changes made by federal agencies that don't require congressional approval, including gender-neutral passport application forms, changes to how the U.S. Census Bureau counts same-sex relationships and the extension of fringe benefits to the same-sex partners of gay and lesbian federal workers.

Leave your thoughts in the comments section below

Cabinet and Staff News: President Obama shifts most of his political staff to Chicago. White House Deputy Political Director Patrick Dillon also leaving. At least five people have interviewed to replace Robert Gibbs. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan reports for jury duty. First Lady Michelle Obama recruits Wal-Mart to join her healthy foods push. White House regulatory lawyer Cass Sunstein summoned to Capitol Hill. Architects of the Gulf War reunite in Texas. Rahm Emanuel nets $10.6 million for his Chicago mayoral race.

AGRICULTURE DEPARTMENT:
Hundreds of Yankton, South Dakota birds poisoned by USDA: A local farmer had been having troubles with about 5,000 starlings defecating in his feed meal. USDA decided to kill the birds due to health concerns for the animals.

AMTRAK:
Amtrak e-mail misuse alleged in IG scandal: Its investigative officer is asking the U.S. Postal Service to look into whether officials misused the e-mail system by searching for communiques between his office and Congress.

U.S. COMMISSION OF FINE ARTS:
Frank Gehry refines his Eisenhower Memorial design: The architect made an official presentation to the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts, one of the oversight panels that must approve his designs for a new memorial to the former president and general.

DEFENSE DEPARTMENT:
Report: 'Don't ask, don't tell' cost military $193.3M over five years: The military spent about $193.3 million between 2004 and 2009 to replace approximately 3,660 troops discharged under the policy.

Some mentors quit over new Pentagon rules: Seven retired admirals and generals hired by the military as consultants will end their advisory roles rather than comply with new regulations requiring them to divulge outside income to avoid a conflict of interest.

EPA:
EPA loses in bid to delay air rules: The ruling by U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman is a setback for the White House, which is trying to demonstrate to business leaders that it is prepared to moderate the pace of new regulation.

FAA:
FAA tightens rules for charter pilots: It issued a final rule requiring pilots of such planes to receive specialized training to work more effectively as cockpit teams.

FDA:
FDA sees promise in Alzheimer's imaging drug: The approval was contingent on radiologists agreeing on what the scans say and doctors being trained in how to read the scans.

JUSTICE DEPARTMENT:
Largest-ever mafia sweep nets more than 100 arrests: Federal and state agents began arresting nearly 130 reputed mafia members from seven East Coast organized crime families in the largest coordinated arrest in the FBI's quarter-century crackdown on La Cosa Nostra.

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By Ed O'Keefe  | January 21, 2011; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  Administration, Eye Opener  
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Comments

Oh, my goodness....Give the whining a rest, already. Gays just need to shut their mouths and then no one would even know if they're gay.

When I rented apartments, NO ONE ever asked me if I was gay!!! When I bought my house, NO ONE ever asked me if I was gay!!

Posted by: momof20yo | January 21, 2011 7:58 AM | Report abuse

Housing bias against O'Keefe!? How sad!

Posted by: TheChampisheretoo | January 21, 2011 8:11 AM | Report abuse

Thanks O'Keefe- this is an important issue, and one of many that will need to be addressed.

Posted by: 10bestfan | January 21, 2011 8:30 AM | Report abuse

Now how about adding sexual orientation to the Federal EEO?

Posted by: AxelDC | January 21, 2011 9:17 AM | Report abuse

DADT repeal is Obama's crowning achievement. FYI: http://OutMilitary.com - the gay military network - is providing a supportive environment for friending, sharing and networking between gay active military, vets and supporters.

Posted by: skoa | January 21, 2011 9:17 AM | Report abuse

This action is long overdue. Discrimination in the sale or leasing of housing for any reason other than financial ability is just stupid and contrary to sound business practices. We should be selling and/or renting to anyone who can afford the price - period!

http://www.residentialmarketingblog.com/

Posted by: DanielRLevitan | January 21, 2011 10:08 AM | Report abuse

This action is long overdue. Discrimination in the sale or leasing of housing for any reason other than financial ability is just stupid and contrary to sound business practices. We should be selling and/or renting to anyone who can afford the price - period!

http://www.residentialmarketingblog.com/

Posted by: DanielRLevitan | January 21, 2011 10:09 AM | Report abuse

This action is long overdue. Discrimination in the sale or leasing of housing for any reason other than financial ability is just stupid and contrary to sound business practices. We should be selling and/or renting to anyone who can afford the price - period!

http://www.residentialmarketingblog.com/

Posted by: DanielRLevitan | January 21, 2011 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Why would he want to live somewhere that doesn't want him?

Posted by: getjiggly1 | January 21, 2011 10:23 AM | Report abuse

"Why would he want to live somewhere that doesn't want him?"

Posted by: getjiggly1

You could ask the same question of someone who was denied housing for being black, in the military, being Catholic or being a member of any minority.

Posted by: MarilynManson | January 21, 2011 10:49 AM | Report abuse

momof20yo, if no one asked you, it might have been because you were renting an apartment solo, or with a group of girls. But, two same-gender people renting an apartment together who are not students or in an academic area may well be asked, if both of them sign the lease. I know specifically of a lesbian couple in my church who were refused a mortgage based on their intention of joint ownership of the house they wanted to buy and joint responsibility for the mortgage. They had to have the house and mortgage in only one name, and then pay a lawyer to set up legal documents to protect the other partner.

getgiggly - why should anyone allow someone else's prejudices be a factor in where one chooses to live?

Posted by: vklip | January 21, 2011 10:51 AM | Report abuse

This is bogus....BS!

The majority of the homes in DC are owned by gays, the businesses are owned by gays.....hello, dupont circle, plenty of gay owned properties.

Adams Morgan, Capital Hill....all have gay home and business owners...

this is a bunch of crap....Iam really getting tired of hearing about this gay issue, which really isn't an issue.

Posted by: weaverf | January 21, 2011 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Jeez. Sometimes it seems as if the glbt community and their advocates want signs everywhere saying: "Yes! we welcome glbt persons!"
Just another rule that will enrich lawyers for anyone who feels "offended".

Posted by: spamsux1 | January 21, 2011 11:54 AM | Report abuse

I agree with this first poster 100%.
If gay pepole would just keep their big fat mouths shut, thOh, my goodness....Give the whining a rest, already. Gays just need to shut their mouths and then no one would even know if they're gay.


When I rented apartments, NO ONE ever asked me if I was gay!!! When I bought my house, NO ONE ever asked me if I was gay!!

ese types of problems would not come up."
Shut up and act like grown ups instead of a bunch of whining gays.
"

Posted by: JimW2 | January 21, 2011 12:19 PM | Report abuse

I agree with this first poster 100%.
If gay pepole would just keep their big fat mouths shut, thOh, my goodness....Give the whining a rest, already. Gays just need to shut their mouths and then no one would even know if they're gay.


When I rented apartments, NO ONE ever asked me if I was gay!!! When I bought my house, NO ONE ever asked me if I was gay!!

These types of problems would not come up."
Shut up and act like grown ups instead of a bunch of whining gays.
"

Posted by: JimW2 | January 21, 2011 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Yes, MarilynManson, you could. What's your point? You like living with people who hate you?

Posted by: getjiggly1 | January 21, 2011 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Yes, MarilynManson, you could. What's your point? You like giving money to people who hate you?

Posted by: getjiggly1 | January 21, 2011 12:40 PM | Report abuse

JimW2: Why don't you and your fellow hets (like momof20yo) shut YOUR effing traps. And while you're at it, enough of holding hands and all that PDA. Really, nobody needs to see that straight sh*t. And when you and your spouse apply jointly for a home loan, sorry, no dice. No more heterosexual privilege for you - it's one name on the mortgage - you choose.

Posted by: graphchick1 | January 21, 2011 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Stupid breeders making Social Security possible.

Posted by: getjiggly1 | January 21, 2011 3:35 PM | Report abuse

JimW2: Why don't you and your fellow hets (like momof20yo) shut YOUR effing traps. And while you're at it, enough of holding hands and all that PDA. Really, nobody needs to see that straight sh*t. And when you and your spouse apply jointly for a home loan, sorry, no dice. No more heterosexual privilege for you - it's one name on the mortgage - you choose.
----------
Well it's your tough sh*t that you CHOOSE to be gay when most of nature IS NOT QUEER. You just want to special attention and kudos because homos CHOOSE to stick their d*cks in another man's a**, and the lesbians CHOOSE to stick fake pen*ses in each other v*ginas.

Posted by: nakiberu | January 21, 2011 10:17 PM | Report abuse

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