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June is LGBTQIA+ Pride Month: What to Know About Fair Housing Protections

two men sit on their front porch with their dog

Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity are now protected under the Federal Fair Housing Act, per Executive Order 13988 in 2021. The Fair Housing Act protects people from discrimination when they are renting or buying a home, getting a mortgage, seeking housing assistance, or engaging in other housing-related activities. [1]

Equal opportunity to access, use, and enjoy housing, covering rental housing, homeownership opportunities (including appraisals and insurance) is the basis of America’s national housing policy and applies to all housing transactions. The Fair Housing Act (FHA) prohibits discrimination based on these Protected Classes:

  •  Race                                                 
  • Color                                                
  • National origin
  • Religion                                           
  • Handicap (disability)                
  • Familial status (families with kids)
  • Sex                                                    
  • Sexual orientation                   
  • Gender identity

However, LGBTQIA+ individuals’ housing opportunities are often constrained by others’ prejudice because of one’s sexual orientation or gender identity. According to a 2020 UCLA study, same-sex couples are significantly more likely to report they were refused housing (15 percent vs. 6 percent) and are less likely to own homes than different-sex couples (64 percent vs. 75 percent). [2]

LGBTQIA+ individuals often experience discrimination not just because of one legally protected characteristic—like gender identity or sexual orientation—but a combination of legally protected characteristics. This is an example of “intersectional discrimination.” For instance, a person may be denied housing because of their gender identity and national origin, e.g., because they are both transgender and Chinese. [3]

President Biden issued Executive Order 13988 on Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation, January 20, 2021. The U.S. Department  of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Memorandum issued February 11, 2021 states, “At the core of this Department’s housing mission is an endeavor to ensure that all people peacefully enjoy a place they call home, where they are safe and can thrive, free from discrimination and fear. Yet, this ideal remains unrealized for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer-identifying persons, who have been denied the constitutional promise of equal protection under the law throughout most of American history. [4]

How to Report 

Special Opportunity: National Fair Housing Training Academy Forum via Zoom on the Practical Applications of LGBTQIA+ Fair Housing Protections

June 26, 2024 | 2-4 p.m. ET

This forum is dedicated to enriching the understanding of the fair housing protections afforded to the LGBTQIA+ community and providing examples of the ways LGBTQIA+ discrimination can manifest. Panelists will highlight how housing providers can utilize robust non-discrimination housing policies and practices to foster a diverse and inclusive housing environment.

Register Today

Resources and References:

Download the Fair Housing Protections Brochure below.

  1. HUD Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing:,more%20about%20sexual%20harassment%20here
  2. Williams Institute UCLA Law:
  3. HUD Exchange LGBTQIA+ Fair Housing Toolkit:
  4. Fair Housing Project of Legal Aid North Carolina - HUD Announced Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity are Protected by the Federal Fair Housing Act February 9, 2021:
Table: News Item Documents
File NameSizeTypeDate & Time Added
Brochure 571 KB 06/24/2024 4:35 PM

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Updated Jun 24, 2024 04:36 PM
Published Jun 24, 2024 04:00 PM

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