HUD rule change prohibits LGBT discrimination

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- A new rule approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development means lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people are among those protected from housing discrimination.

The rule, which falls under gender discrimination, specifically states any HUD-funded housing entity, even homeless shelters or banks offering FHA loans, are required to provide equal access. If they don't, they risk losing federal funding.

"Gender discrimination is very broad and can encompass a lot of things," said Wanda Allen-Abraha with the Winston-Salem Human Relations Commission. "It's not just against a woman who wants an apartment. It could be because of their sexual orientation status."

Allen-Abraha said they haven't recieved any complaints about gender discrimination, but some said they believe that's because they knew fair housing wasn't guaranteed for the LGBT community until now.

"It did anger me that because they don't conform to male, female or any particular role, they could be discriminated against when all they want is somewhere to live," said Jesse Duncan with AIDS Care Service. "It's a simple basic need that needs to be afforded to every human being, no matter who you love or what you look like."

If you'd like to read the new rule or understand how to file a housing discrimination complaint, read the PDF from the HUD website.

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