The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development may not explicitly ban discrimination against LGBTs, but they’ve come up with some fun ways to take a stab at it!
Sure, HUD doesn’t have specific policies in the Fair Housing Act barring a landlord from refusing housing based on sexuality or gender identity, but if you interpret the law in a certain way we’ll all be safe. Okay …
So “although the Fair Housing Act does not explicitly cover sexual orientation- or gender identity-based housing discrimination,” reports BAR, “such discrimination may be covered by the FHA in other ways. For example, the guidance [document released by HUD] explains, gender identity discrimination may be seen as gender discrimination, and discrimination against a gay man because of fear he will spread HIV/AIDS may constitute illegal discrimination on the basis of a perceived disability, HIV/AIDS.”
Translation: Make sure you record your landlord’s fear that you’ll spread AIDS into the carpet; him simply finding your “lifestyle” disgusting won’t be enough. And when all else fails, fall back on local regulations: “The HUD guidance also instructs staff to inform individuals about state and local LGBT protections that may apply to them. It notes that approximately 20 states, the District of Columbia, and over 60 cities, towns, and counties do specifically prohibit discrimination against LGBT individuals.”
Hope you’re moving to one!