Following this month's conference of U.S. mayors announcing support for the Freedom to Marry initiative, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) this week announced new provisions to "ensure that its core housing programs are open to all eligible persons, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity."
HUD secretary Shaun Donovan said "the Obama Administration has viewed the fight for equality on behalf of the LGBT community as a priority and I’m proud that HUD has been a leader in that fight. ... With this historic rule, the Administration is saying you cannot use taxpayer dollars to prevent Americans from choosing where they want live on the basis sexual orientation or gender identity — ensuring that HUD’s housing programs are open, not to some, not to most, but to all.”
Provisions to protect LGBT communities in public housing previously only fell into the Fair Housing Act's considerations. Donovan announced the latest Equal Access to Housing rules on Saturday, Jan. 24 at the 24th National Gay and Lesbian Task Force “Creating Change” Conference. The ACLU called the announcement a "tremendous step forward" — the final ruling (as "Equal Access to Housing in HUD Programs — Regardless of Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity") will be implemented 30 days after its publishing, next week.
HUD also is expanding its race and gender discrimination studies (performed every 10 years) with a study on LGBT discrimination in public housing.