Monday, September 19, 2016
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: Sex Discrimination Includes LGBT Discrimination, Too
Following in the footsteps of numerous other federal agencies, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a letter last week clarifying that discriminating against LGBT people in the realm of credit falls under the category of "sex discrimination." The CFPB stated that under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act of 1974, it is illegal to refuse to issue loans, credit cards, mortgages, and other forms of credit because of someone's sexual orientation or gender identity.
The CFPB's statement came in response to a June inquiry from our colleagues at SAGE (Services and Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender Elders), since poverty and economic insecurity disproportionately impact older LGBT people. These issues are also incredibly important for transgender people of any age - our 2011 National Transgender Discrimination Survey found that transgender people are four times more likely than the general population to have a household income of less than $10,000 per year.
We applaud the CFPB for recognizing these important developments in the understanding of federal law. Though the CFPB's guidance is not binding on courts of law, it reflects current legal trends and provides LGBT people who have experienced discrimination with recourse.
If you have experienced credit discrimination, please seek legal help and/or file a complaint with the CFPB.