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Bipartisan House Members Move to Extend Housing Protections to LGBTQ Americans

April 30, 2019 by Sean Trambley
The Seattle area has been building lots of new housing, but not much of it has been affordable to the middle class. (Ken Lambert/Seattle Times/TNS)

This week, U.S. Representatives Brad Schneider D-Ill., Susan W. Brooks R-Ind., Jennifer Wexton D-Va., and Brian Fitzpatrick R-Penn. introduced legislation to extend clear and consistent non-discrimination housing protections to LGBTQ individuals.

H.R. 2402, the Fair and Equal Housing Act of 2019 would include “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” as protected characteristics under the Fair Housing Act which currently mandates non-discrimination for housing on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, familial status, or disability.

“No American should face discrimination finding a home because of who they are or who they love,” said Schneider. “Yet the majority of states still have no laws prohibiting housing discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. I am proud to lead this long overdue bipartisan bill to extend federal protections to ensure all LGBTQ individuals and same-sex couples can access housing without prejudice. I am also pleased that these important housing protections were incorporated into the Equality Act, and I look forward to voting on this anti-discrimination package soon.”

“Housing discrimination and prejudice of any kind, towards anyone, is wrong,” said Brooks. “It is a fundamental American value enshrined in our Constitution to ensure equal protection under the law for all people in our country, including when purchasing or renting property. I am proud to lead this common-sense, bipartisan bill, the Fair and Equal Housing Act of 2019, so that anyone, regardless of their race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, handicap, familial status and national origin is treated fairly and equally under the law as they buy or rent a place to call home.”

“LGBTQ Americans should be able to rent or buy a home without fear of discrimination because of who they love or how they identify,” said Wexton. “Passing this legislation will put an end to the inadequate patchwork of protections that exist across America. Equality doesn’t stop with marriage—this bipartisan bill will help ensure LGBTQ Americans are fully protected under the landmark Fair Housing Act.”

“LGBTQ Americans are part of the fabric of our society and should be free to exercise the rights guaranteed to every American by the Constitution to participate fully in our society and pursue every opportunity,” said Fitzpatrick. “This legislation will protect Americans from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity because discrimination against the LGBTQ community is an injustice which must end.”

Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Tim Kaine (D-VA) introduced bipartisan companion legislation in the Senate to the Fair and Equal Housing Act.

Text of the legislation can be found here.

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