New policy to ban discrimination on Sexual Orientation Or Gender Identity in Federal Housing Policy addressed

Kara Suffredini, MassEquality Executive Director

BOSTON, January 31, 2012— Statement by MassEquality Executive Director Kara Suffredini, Esq. on announcement by US Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shawn Donovan that agency will end anti-LGBT discrimination in federal housing policies:

“This decision will make a real, immediate difference for the better in the lives of millions of US residents, including those right here in Massachusetts. Anyone who applies for Federal Housing Administration-backed mortgages, or lives in public housing or uses HUD vouchers to help pay for their housing can no longer be discriminated against because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. We are also pleased that the Obama Administration plans to train and educate HUD staff and their housing partners on how the Equal Access To Housing rule should be implemented.

“This latest move by the Obama Administration follows a bold declaration by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that LGBT rights are human rights; repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”; implementation of a presidential memo prohibiting patient visitation discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity; and the federal Office of Personnel Management’s announcement prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender identity in federal employment. For far too long, the federal government has been a passive bystander as others have utilized taxpayer resources to engage in anti-LGBT discrimination. We are pleased that the Obama Administration sees its job as one of representing all Americans regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.”

NOTE: Secretary Shaun Donovan made his announcement about the new HUD rule last week at the annual Creating Change conference organized by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. You can read Donovan’s remarks here, or watch a video of his announcement here.

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