Equal Access for LGBT Individuals

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) persons still face discrimination in housing on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. While some states and localities prohibit discrimination on these bases, persons in other areas may not enjoy the same legal protections. However, under certain circumstances, federal law may protect LGBT persons from housing discrimination. For example, to the extent a person is discriminated against based on sex stereotyping (e.g., a man should dress in a certain way), that person may have a sex discrimination claim under the Fair Housing Act.

During the Obama Administration, HUD issued the Equal Access Rule, which prohibited discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, and marital status in HUD-insured and –assisted housing. HUD also amended the Equal Access Rule to specifically address discrimination on the basis of gender identity in HUD Community Planning & Development (CPD) programs, which includes housing such as shelters.