The House Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations held a hearing, “Financial Services and the LGBTQ+ Community: A Review of Discrimination in Lending and Housing” on October 29. Witnesses focused on the effect of discrimination against members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) community when seeking shelter, housing, or loans to purchase a home, and addressed the impact of the Trump administration’s proposed rollback of the Equal Access Rule (see Memo, 5/28).
In her opening statement, Harper Jean Tobin, director of policy at the National Center for Transgender Equality, urged members of Congress to block HUD from rescinding the Equal Access Rule and to strengthen protections for LGBTQ+ people. Alphonso David, president of the Human Rights Campaign, said the impacts of anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination and policies are disproportionately borne by LGBTQ people of color, particularly black and brown transgender people. Mr. David said the “epidemic of LGBTQ homelessness is a national crisis that demands a national response. . . . We need the federal administration to actually protect [LGBTQ people], not subject them to further discrimination.”
Subcommittee members and witnesses described the importance of ensuring access to shelters for LGBTQ people, particularly LGBTQ youth, and emphasized the potential harm faced by transgender people who are not able to access shelters that align with their gender identity. Witnesses also emphasized the importance of pushing back against harmful regulations (such as the proposed modifications to the Equal Access Rule) and of passing the “Equality Act” (H.R.5/S.788), which would provide discrimination protections for LGBTQ+ people in housing, employment, credit, education, public services, and federally-funded programs, including HUD-funded shelters and housing.
Watch the full Subcommittee hearing at: https://bit.ly/2N3YSLG
Read the Committee memorandum on the hearing at: https://bit.ly/2oyydNr
Learn more about HUD’s Equal Access Rule at: https://bit.ly/2N5CH7U
Learn more about the Equality Act at: https://bit.ly/2C0Kygy