Dept. of Housing and Urban Development defines anti-discriminatory housing protections for LGBTQ+ community

DELMARVA – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is now including protections for LGBTQ+ people when it comes to housing discrimination. It’s an issue that local legislators say is happening right in our backyard. “There are 22 states that specifically guarantee equal protection under the law for LGBTQ+ citizens of those states. Delaware right now is not one of those,” said Representative Eric Morrison.

Before President Joe Biden signed the executive order that made the way for LGBTQ+ housing protection, many individuals didn’t have an avenue of legal recourse to protect themselves. Equal and equitable access to housing wasn’t guaranteed unless a city, county, or state government had specific protections in place. Sen. Pinkney says microaggressions that can slip through cracks like that can be hard to identify. “Discrimination can be so insidious that at times we don’t realize that’s what’s occurring on the outside levels,” said Sen. Pinkney.

Vice Chair of Delaware’s Senate Housing Committee Senator Marie Pinkney says sometimes discrimination can go undetected. “It looks like not accepting sources of income that people use. It looks like rejecting housing applications because of the adults that are listed,” said Sen. Pinkney.

Delaware Rep. Eric Morrison adds discrimination can also include higher rent and fees, and a lack of response to housing inquires from LGBTQ+ people. Plus, Rep. Morrison says homelessness rates for LGBTQ+ youth are higher than that of their heterosexual and cisgender counterparts. “LGBTQ+ people deserve equal protection, deserve equal opportunity, deserve everything that their heterosexual and cisgender counterparts enjoy,” said Rep. Morrison.

Sen. Pinkney says including these protections doesn’t stop at providing actual housing for LGBTQ+ people. The Senator tells 47ABC it also demonstrates that discrimination of any kind is never acceptable. “When we are transparent about the fact that we are creating these policies to assist and end the discrimination of LGBTQIA individuals, we put power to our words,” said Sen. Pinkney.

CAMP Rehoboth says another important part of these protections is the peace of mind they bring to individuals who might be facing discrimination. “Moving can be one of the most stressful things you do in your life. Nobody should experience discrimination when they’re trying to find a place to live,” said CAMP Rehoboth Executive Director David Mariner.


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