Today, Congressman Scott Taylor (R-VA) introduced the Fair and Equal Housing Act, which would guarantee critical federal protections against housing discrimination for LGBTQ people.
The bill, which was cosponsored by Congressman Brad Schneider (D-IL) would add “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” as protected characteristics under the Fair Housing Act, which currently includes discrimination based on race, color, national origin, disability, sex, religion, and familial status.
“I’m pleased to have the Human Rights Campaign endorse this important legislation,” Congressman Taylor said. “I welcome their support and the support of anyone who believes LGBT Americans should not be discriminated against when seeking a place to call home.”
LGBTQ people face significant levels of discrimination in housing. In fact, according to the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey, nearly one quarter of transgender people report having experienced housing discrimination within the past year. And research from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development shows that same-sex couples experience significant levels of discrimination when responding to advertised rental housing.
Currently, only 20 states and the District of Columbia explicitly outlaw housing discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in state law, and another two ban discrimination based on sexual orientation. This patchwork of protections leaves millions of LGBTQ people vulnerable.