Media Contact: Denise Spivak, CEO
CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Today the Housing and Urban Development Department (HUD) proposed a change that removes protections for transgender people under the Equal Access Rule. This rule protects LGBTQ+ people from discrimination in HUD-funded services, and a 2016 update was created explicitly to protect transgender people from discrimination in homeless shelters.
By removing these protections, shelters and programs that receive or operate using HUD grants are now able to ignore nondiscrimination protections for transgender people, leaving them vulnerable to being denied shelter and forced out onto the streets. Shelters and their programs are often life-saving for trans people who have been rejected by their families.
"Transgender people already face widespread discrimination in all aspects of life", said Denise Spivak, CenterLink's CEO. "One in five transgender individuals have experienced homelessness at some point in their lives, and a disproportionate number of homeless youth identify as transgender. We will do whatever we can to ensure this repugnant rule doesn't go into effect."
This proposed roll-back would allow widespread discrimination when trans people need help the most, when facing becoming unhoused. The current regulations provide safety in HUD-funded programs, and this proposed rule change would only leave trans people less safe and more at risk, especially during a global health crisis.
Every American should have access to safe shelter free of discrimination. The protections of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Access Rule are more important now than ever. The government’s enforcement should be aligned with the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision that sex discrimination includes sexual orientation and gender identity.
Individuals and organizations can submit a comment in opposition to this proposal by visiting www.lgbtactionlink.org.
CenterLink develops strong, sustainable LGBT community centers and builds a thriving center network that creates healthy, vibrant communities. Founded in 1994, CenterLink plays an important role in addressing the challenges centers face by helping them to improve their organizational and service delivery capacity, access public resources, and engage their regional communities in the grassroots social justice movement. www.lgbtcenters.org.