The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is tossing around the idea of adding LGBTs to its anti-discrimination rules that, bound by the the Fair Housing Act, already prohibit things like race, religion, and sex to be used in consideration of tenants. So when HUD asked housing authorities around the country for some feedback on the proposed changes, it fell on to Vicki Barnes, director of the Tennessee’s Sweetwater Housing Authority, to remind the federal government that homosexuals are as bad as drug pushers and killers.
Responding to HUD in a January letter, Barnes says queers have made a “personal and moral lifestyle choice,” just like “other groups who make a personal lifestyle choice [including] drug users and sellers, gang members, prostitutes, cults and murderers.” It “is not a matter of discrimination,” writes Barnes, because letting LGBTs “call themselves a family” will “cause chaos in the communities and take away the stability and security of the families,” while also promoting things like “a lifestyle of not working,” a “lifestyle where children will be emotionally and possibly physically abused and neglected.” Meanwhile, landlords who participate in Section 8 housing will start running away from “your definition of family” because “they will choose not to be bullied into housing people who have chosen a lifestyle which goes against their moral convictions, or groups of people who will damage their property.”
Well that sounds promising from somebody who’s in charge of enforcing HUD’s existing anti-discrimination rules.
For those remarks, Barnes has merely been censured, says Sweetwater Housing Authority Board Chairman Wayne Key (pictured). “Once she read the letter and had her attention called to it, she realized that that could seem very inflammatory, and she immediately regretted that, said, if she had it to do over again, she wouldn’t write it that way,” Key adds. Translation: Barnes, who’s been in office in 12 years, is sorry her feelings about LGBTs were made public, but she is not sorry about the way she feels about you queers.
Here is Barnes’ full letter to HUD: