Avoiding gender and sexuality based housing discrimination

With relation to housing discrimination, is sexual orientation a protected class? And how can you avoid gender and sexuality based housing discrimination.

Unfortunately, gender and sexuality-based housing discrimination have increased over the past decade. As a result, housing discrimination is an everyday reality for some people.

Race, gender, and sexual orientation are among the top characteristics that attract these unfair and prejudicial housing treatments. Other characteristics include things like religion, disabilities, age, etc., which are well covered by the Fair Housing Act of 1968.

So, are there set policies placed to prevent housing discrimination based on gender and sexuality. And more importantly, where can you find a housing discrimination lawyer to help you deal with gender and sexuality-based housing discrimination.

Before we tacked the question “how do you avoid such discrimination?” first, let’s look at the Fair Housing Act.

What is the Fair Housing Act?

The 1968 Fair Housing Act is a federal act that protects people against discrimination when they are engaging in housing-related activities – such as buying or renting a house, looking for housing assistance, getting a mortgage, etc. 

This U.S. federal act protects against discrimination based on color, race, sex, family status, religion, national origin, or disability. However, this act doesn’t have clear regulations that protect against sexual orientation or gender identity-based discrimination.

Notably, only 22 U.S. states, according to the Human Rights Campaign, prohibit sexual orientation and gender identity-based discrimination or sexual orientation-based discrimination only.

So what policies are there to help combat these discriminations?

Joe Biden’s executive order 

Does the 2021 Joe Biden’s executive order prevent housing discrimination? Well, yes, it does.

According to Joseph R. Biden JR.’s there are four conclusive sections to help handle this issue. 

Section 1 lays or points out the policies, Section 2 highlight the enforcements of these policies, Section 3 & 4 are basically definition and general provision. So, let’s talk about section 1 because it touches on housing discrimination. 

SECTION 1: Policy

No matter who a person is or who they love, the order states that “every person should be treated with respect and dignity and should be able to live without fear.” This order protects and applies to everyone. Biden even went on and clearly stated that: 

“Children should be able to learn without worrying about whether they will be denied access to the restroom, the locker room, or school sports. Adults should be able to earn a living and pursue a vocation knowing that they will not be fired, demoted, or mistreated because of whom they go home to or because how they dress does not conform to sex-based stereotypes.

People should be able to access healthcare and secure a roof over their heads without being subjected to sex discrimination. All persons should receive equal treatment under the law, no matter their gender identity or sexual orientation.”  

The notable fact is that all these stipulated policies are reflected in our Nation’s anti-discrimination laws and Constitution. Some of the Nation’s anti-discrimination laws that contain these principles include:

  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended (42 U.S.C. 2000e et seq.)
  • Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, as amended (20 U.S.C. 1681 et seq.) which is under Bostock reasoning of Title VII 
  • The Immigration and Nationality Act Section 412, as amended (8 U.S.C. 1522)
  • The Fair Housing Act, as amended (42 U.S.C. 3601 et seq.)

LGBT housing assistance

About 9.5 million adults in the United States identify themselves as LGBT. Surprisingly, under state laws, 52% of these people actually are not protected from sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination. And as noted earlier, only 22 states explicitly forbid housing discrimination based on sexual orientation, which means 48% of the LGBT population resides in these states. 

And according to a report published by The Williams Institute law school, they found out that “Various studies showed that transgender individuals experience substantially higher rates of discrimination than LGB people.” 

Lesbian violation in relation to housing is thing that most lesbians are trying to get rid of. To help clarify all these, here are five facts regarding housing access for LGBT people:

  1. Even in States or areas with anti-discrimination protections, the LGBT people (more so, transgender or gay people) still face discrimination during their rental housing search.
  2. According to homeless youth service providers they say LGBTQ homeless people have worse mental health than non-LGBTQ individuals. Additionally, transgender individuals have even way worse physical health. This is according to a survey done by The Williams Institute at the University of California on homeless youth service providers. 

And according to NCBI Prior Research, LGBTQ clients are less likely to experience abuse and housing discrimination than trans clients.

  1. There exists a higher homelessness risk for the LGBT youth than the cisgender or heterosexual youth.
  2. There are higher chances for better housing services to the LGBT community thanks to the emphasis on LGBT inclusion. The LGBT-based housing programs and services can ensure better services by getting rid of sexual orientation or gender identity restrictions and discriminations. This involves creating a welcoming environment and offering targeted support to the LGBT community.
  3. The housing nondiscrimination laws that cover gender identity and sexual orientation are only in 21 states and the District of Columbia

Fighting housing discrimination

Various laws have been drafted or modified by the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division to accommodate and protect the LGBT society. Some of these laws include:

  • Fair Housing Act which the justice division enforces to protect everyone (including LGBT)  
  • Protecting the rights of intersex persons which, the division enforces the Americans with Disabilities Act. 
  • Equal Credit Opportunity Act is another policy set in place to protect against housing discrimination. 

These are some of the main laws that protect every American citizen (including the LGBT group) against housing discrimination. 

Protect yourself from gender and sexuality-based housing discriminatio

The LGBT-related laws that prohibit housing discrimination as well as private and public services vary by state. And so, is sexual orientation a protected class housing discrimination? Yes, but not fully protected as over 50% of LGBT individuals remain unprotected. 

To get help and avoid gender and sexuality-based housing discrimination, reach out to Housing Discrimination Lawyers Near You.