Biden Administration Announces HUD’s Equal Access Rule Is Here to Stay | National Center for Transgender Equality

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Thursday, April 22, 2021

Biden Administration Announces HUD’s Equal Access Rule Is Here to Stay

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The US Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge today formally announced that the department has ended efforts to deny critical nondiscrimination protections in homeless shelters for transgender people.

It is a clear indication that Secretary Fudge and President Biden are strongly committed to protecting transgender people from housing discrimination.

Last year, the National Center for Transgender Equality along with True Colors United led a historic effort to galvanize Americans across the country to oppose the rule changes, helping to generate more than 66,000 comments to HUD on the issue. Our campaign broke records, driving more comments to HUD than they received on any other Trump-era rule.

“The Biden administration is living up to its commitment to protect transgender people from discrimination. Today’s announcement by Secretary Fudge is an important step in ensuring access to safe, affirming housing for transgender people,” said Rodrigo Heng-Lehtinen, deputy executive director for the National Center for Transgender Equality. “This is a decision that will save lives, and help transgender people experiencing homelessness receive the assistance they need.”

Under the proposed rule change, homeless shelters would have been able to turn transgender people away from single-sex facilities that match their gender identity.

“By ending this discriminatory proposal for good, the department is righting a serious wrong,” said Dylan Waguespack, public policy and external affairs director for True Colors United. “Whether it's homeless shelters, sports or health care, supporting the safety and dignity of all young people is a central tenet to our society, regardless of who they are or who they love. We’re thrilled to see that tenet wholeheartedly embraced by Secretary Fudge and leadership across the Biden administration."

The Biden administration had issued a freeze on all the last-minute actions such as the proposed rule change initiated by the Trump administration. Today’s announcement makes clear that transgender people cannot be turned away from shelters that receive federal support. President Biden’s commitment to fighting discrimination and ensuring that the federal government treats all people equally under the law spell doom for this deadly proposal.

HUD’s actions follow President Joe Biden’s executive order issued on Jan. 20 on “Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation,” which applied the reasoning in Bostock v. Clayton County to all federal agencies. HUD became the first agency to implement the terms of the executive order in February, when they confirmed that they will enforce Fair Housing Act protections for LGBTQ+ people.

The Fair Housing Act of 1968 protects people from discrimination in housing-related activities, including renting or buying a home, mortgage applications and housing assistance. 

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