Act to Ban Anti-LGBT Bias in Housing Introduced


Senator John Kerry on Thursday introduced legislation to make it illegal to discriminate against LGBT Americans in the housing and credit markets.

The legislation, the Housing Opportunities Made Equal (HOME) Act, would amend the Fair Housing Act to prohibit housing discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity and marital status. It would also bar discrimination on the grounds of source of income and would amend the Equal Opportunity Credit Act to prohibit LGBT discrimination in credit related decisions.

The need to combat anti-LGBT discrimination in the housing and credit sectors has been recognized by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as a cognizable and serious problem. In fact HUD †has itself moved to prevent anti-LGBT housing discrimination through its†assistance†programs but†there currently exists no express federal LGBT-inclusive anti-discrimination law. However, around 20 states have enacted anti-discrimination protections themselves, while nearly 150 cities have enacted similar ordinances.

Still, in states lacking these protections, prejudiced landlords can still lawfully discriminate against LGBT tenants.

More on the Act from Senator Kerry’s press release:

The HOME Act would:

– Amend the Fair Housing Act to prohibit housing discrimination and intimidation on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, or source of income.

– Amend the Equal Credit Opportunity Act to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity in access to credit.

– Outlaw housing discrimination both before and after a housing unit is acquired.

– Strengthen anti-discrimination protections for handicapped individuals and LGBT parents with custody of a child.

– Provide the Attorney General with appropriate pre-litigation investigative power to enforce the law.

Statements issued on the legislation’s introduction read:

“It’s hard to believe that in 2011, any law-abiding, tax-paying American who can pay the rent can’t live somewhere just because of who they are,” said Sen. Kerry. †”Housing discrimination against LGBT Americans is wrong, but today in most states there isn’t a thing you can do about it. This legislation would end discrimination that continues to hurt people.”

“Despite a great deal of progress, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people continue to experience discrimination in all aspects of their lives, including one of the most basic — finding a home for themselves and their families,” said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. †”We thank Senator Kerry for continuing his leadership toward full legal equality for LGBT Americans by introducing legislation, the first of its kind in the Senate, that would outlaw housing and credit discrimination.”

“We applaud Senator Kerry and Representative Nadler for their efforts to bring the Fair Housing Act into the 21st Century. †These much-needed changes to the Act reflect our nation’s commitment to creating stronger, more diverse and inclusive neighborhoods,” said Shanna L. Smith, President and CEO of the National Fair Housing Alliance. †”Housing discrimination is wrong and runs counter to the American spirit of opportunity. †It’s time we leave intolerance and bigotry in America’s dark history of senseless exclusion and instead continue to march on the path to equality.”

Rep. Jerrold Nadler also introduced a counterpart measure in the House of Representatives.

Earlier this year the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development went public with a proposed rule to ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity under its assistance programs, a change that could impact over 4.4 million housing units throughout the United States. You can read more on that here.

Related Reading:

Obamaís Accomplishments for LGBT Equality (INFOGRAPHIC)

The Daily Mailís Transgender Rights Fail

UK Lib Dems Back Complete Repeal of Gay Blood Ban

Photo used under the Creative Commons Attribution License, with thanks to woodleywonderworks.


Beth M.
Beth M6 years ago

Will it ever get out of committee and up for vote on the floor?

Glen P.
Glen P6 years ago

How come nobody ever thinks about the needs of the religious fundamentalist who just knows deep in their heart that God will give them a first class royal ass kicking (and make them have to live with sterling silver plumbing fixtures in heaven instead of gold ones) if they should EVER rent housing to a gay person or gay couple; facilitating their continued life, I mean lifestyle.

Don't we have to think about them? (And their downgraded living conditions in heaven.)

Diana S.
Diana P6 years ago

Awesome! Good job, Kerry.

K s Goh
KS Goh6 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Lena T.
Lena T6 years ago

I wish it took less time for other countries to realize it.

Carol Fyfe-Wilson

YES!!!! This progress is so encouraging.

Scarlett O'Hara
Scarlett Fleming6 years ago

Discrimination against anyone is WRONG, no matter who it is. And is a form of hate!

Kyre Zhad
Kyre Zhad6 years ago

We are all from same planet and universe let's get along .:)

Myron Scott
Myron Scott6 years ago

Overdue. Good for Kerry.

Lauren Phillips
Lauren Phillips6 years ago

To Suze O., had to post when I read your comment. We have to pass these laws because their are many people who will not rent a house or an apt. to someone who is gay or handi-capped . They also have to deal with discrimination when applying for loans and credit. You don't need special laws to be passed for heterosexuals because they are the majority. But you have obviously never been discriminated against because of your sexuality, race, age disability,religous beliefs, etc... We are all responsible if we tolerate this discrimination against are LGBT brothers and sisters. Just remember one thing you are not superior because you we're born straight, God created all of us and that includes Gays, and I don't know about you but my God does not make mistakes. Oh and by the way I am straight but that does not prevent me from having empathy for those that would be disciminated against. Take those rose colored glasses off and see the world as it truly is. Maybe someday we will get to the point where we will not need these laws because everyone will be respected as an individual, and we will learn to get along and stop judging people. Won't that be a joyous day.