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The Task Force Welcomes New HUD Same-Sex Couples Housing Discrimination Study

June 18, 2013

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is welcoming a new study released today by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) which identifies the discrimination faced by same-sex couples across the country when trying to find a home.

“We thank HUD and Secretary Shaun Donovan for their work on this study,” said Rea Carey, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. “The pervasiveness of housing discrimination toward same-sex couples is an outrage. No one should be denied housing because of who they are or who they love. It is time for Congress to enact real protections for all LGBT people struggling to find an apartment to rent, or home to buy.”

Today’s study, released by Secretary Shaun Donovan at HUD’s LGBT Pride month event, reveals that same-sex couples were less likely to receive a response to an inquiry for rental housing and were discriminated against by over 15 percent of the landlords. Most rejections came before landlords had any knowledge of the couple’s income, occupations or family characteristics.

Landlords from metropolitan areas across the country were contacted via Craigslist to inquire about apartment listings. Two emails were sent to each landlord: one coming from an opposite-sex couple, the other from a same-sex couple.

For the past several years, HUD has been at the forefront of protecting the rights of LGBT people. Last year, Donovan became the first sitting Cabinet secretary in history to speak at the Task Force’s National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change, the country’s largest annual gathering of LGBT rights advocates. Months later, HUD adopted a new rule that prohibited discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in HUD-housing and made LGBT families eligible for HUD’s public housing programs and vouchers.

The study is part of an emerging body of research into the discrimination LGBT Americans face every day. For example, the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, the groundbreaking 2011 report on transgender discrimination from the Task Force and the National Center for Transgender Equality, revealed that 19 percent of transgender and gender non-conforming people had been refused a home or apartment and 11 percent had been evicted because of their gender identity/expression.

The Task Force advocates for all federal agencies to conduct studies that include all LGBT individuals and couples.

“We look forward to more federal government studies that shed light on the discrimination all LGBT Americans face every day,” Carey noted.

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