In May, the Illinois House of Representatives adopted H.R. 424, a resolution raising awareness of the challenges faced by homeless GLBT youth. The Senate’s companion resolution is SR 413. According to Equality Illinois, 40% of homeless youth identify as GLBT.
James Earl Thomas filed a lawsuit accusing the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (“FHEO”) of discrimination. Thomas claimed that FHEO discriminated against him in not processing his complaint because he is not gay. A federal trial court in Alabama rejected the lawsuit, and also upheld HUD’s recent rule regarding discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
The U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development issued guidance, Appropriate Placement for Transgender Persons in Single-Sex Emergency, that instructs shelters and transitional housing programs to house people in single-sex temporary or transitional housing or shelters based on their “gender,” not sex.
“There is generally is no legitimate reason in this context for the provider to request documentation of a person’s sex in order to determine appropriate placement, nor should the provider have any basis to deny access to a single-sex emergency shelter or facility solely because the provider possesses identity documents indicating a sex different than the gender with which the client or potential client identifies. The provider may not ask questions or otherwise seek information or documentation concerning the person’s anatomy or medical history. Nor may the provider consider the client or potential client ineligible for an emergency shelter or other facility because his or her appearance or behavior does not conform to gender stereotypes.”
This is a massive betrayal of the most vulnerable Women in the United States: Women living at the margins; poor Women, Women with substance abuse issues, Women attempting to escape prostitution and other exploitation, Women escaping domestic violence. Women of Color are disproportionately represented in these communities.
Sara Ashlee Cole is a Man who identifies as a Woman. He filed a Human Rights Commission complaint in Indiana against Martha’s House for segregating people at the shelter according to biological sex. The commission sided with Martha’s House, saying that it was within its legal rights to house Cole on the men’s side since the shelter said it attempts to create a safe environment for all residents.
Sarah Cole is a Man. He should not be housed with homeless Women. Homeless Women have been sexually assaulted when forced to share housing with Men.
Diamond Rivera, a transgender person who identifies as a woman, filed a lawsuit in Hartford, Connecticut Superior Court. According to Rivera’s complaint against Leonard Feroleto, who owns a multifamily rental property in Hartford, Rivera was told in a phone call that an apartment was available.
But when she arrived to see the apartment in person, and filled out an application, the landlord asked if she was a man or a woman, the lawsuit states.
“Defendant Feroleto then asked if Ms. Rivera is a transvestite,” according to the complaint. At one point, Rivera was told that Feroleto would not rent her the apartment.
We hope Rivera wins. People should not be denied rental housing based on sex stereotypes.
Sophia Banks claims that his landlord issued an eviction notice to him because the landlord didn’t like the fact that he identifies as a woman. Banks refused to leave, maintaining that the eviction was illegal because the landlord hadn’t filed formal notice with the Landlord and Tenant Board. Continue reading
Campaigners from the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community were “gobsmacked” after discovering that transsexualism had been listed alongside serious mental illnesses on Camden Council housing forms.
The term, denounced as “insensitive and upsetting” by representatives of Camden’s transgender community, appeared in the same bracket as dementia, severe alcoholism and schizophrenia.
It has led to concerns that the council risks undoing campaigns to rid the transgender community of a stigma that branded its members mentally ill. Continue reading