by Rex Wockner
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development proposed regulations Jan. 20 to ensure that its programs do not discriminate against LGBT people.
“This is a fundamental issue of fairness,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. “With this proposed rule, we will make clear that a person’s eligibility for federal housing programs is, and should be, based on their need and not on their sexual orientation or gender identity.”
The proposals now move to a “public comment” phase.
HUD also is conducting a first-of-its-kind national study of discrimination against LGBT people in the rental and sale of housing.
“These are critically important reforms given that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people remain particularly vulnerable in seeking or retaining housing due to widespread bias, discrimination and a lack of housing protections,” said National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Executive Director Rea Carey. “These reforms will go a long way toward ending an injustice that has had such a profound and far-reaching negative impact on people’s lives.”
Carey noted that HUD “plays a major role in low-income housing programs and the private mortgage market.”
The Connecticut Supreme Court on Jan. 5 forced the state Department of Public Health to list a gay male couple as parents on the birth certificates of their twin boys who were delivered by a gestational surrogate.
Shawn and Anthony Raftopol will receive corrected birth certificates for their kids.
“As a couple, we chose to create a family,” said Anthony Raftopol. “We assumed the responsibility for bringing them into the world, with the understanding that we would love, support and nurture them in every way. In other words, to be what parents are supposed to be.”
Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders Senior Staff Attorney Karen Loewy said the state Supreme Court’s “historic decision honors the intentions of everyone involved in bringing these children into the world, and provides those children with the protection of having two legal parents from the moment of their birth.
“This ruling has special significance for same-sex couples using assisted reproductive technologies like gestational surrogacy, because there will always be one intended parent who is not a genetic parent. It is now clear that Connecticut law honors and protects those intended families,” she said.