A new bill, known as the Fair and Equal Housing Act of 2019, was recently introduce to the U.S. Senate by Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Angus King (I-ME). If passed, the legislation would expand the country’s Fair Housing Act to include gender identity and sexual orientation as protected classes.
The current law only prohibits housing discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, familial status, and/or disability – leaving the LGBTQ community at risk of potential harassment.
According to HousingWire’s report, Kaine’s office mentioned that 21 states, D.C., and more than 200 localities currently protect against sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination. However, the Senator’s new Act would take these protections to the federal level.
This latest bill is the second go-around for Kaine, who tried to pass similar legislation back in 2017.
In addition, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Equality Act last month, which also includes protections for the LGBTQ community against housing discrimination. In particular, this new legislation defines and includes sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity among the prohibited categories of discrimination or segregation.
The Act is intended to approximate current state anti-discrimination laws on a national level, adding protections against LGBTQ discrimination into the federal Civil Rights law. It has been sent to the Senate for consideration.
For more information (including the latest updates) on the Fair and Equal Housing Act of 2019, click here.
For more information (including the latest updates) on the Equality Act, click here.