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Gay and Transgender Discrimination Outside the Workplace

Gay and Transgender Discrimination Outside the Workplace

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Crosby Burns and Philip Ross on why Congress should pass a comprehensive federal law that prohibits all forms of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Crosby Burns and Philip Ross on why Congress should pass a comprehensive federal law that prohibits all forms of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

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Categories:Types, Research, Law
Published by: Center for American Progress on Jul 19, 2011
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1Center or American Progress | Gay and Transgender Discrimination Outside the Workplace
Gay and Transgender DiscriminationOutside the Workplace
Why We Need Protections in Housing, Health Care,and Public Accommodations
Crosby Burns and Philip Ross July 2011
Many people know ha gay and ransgender individuals experiencehigh raes o discriminaion and harassmen in he workplace. Tey know, or example, ha many  Americans are being judged no on he qualiy o heir work bu on irrelevan characer-isics such as sexual orienaion and gender ideniy. Aciviss and lawmakers havelongadvocaedor laws such as heEmploymen Non-Discriminaion Ac , or ENDA, ha  would proec gay and ransgender workers rom senseless discriminaion on he job.Bu gay and ransgender Americans coninue o experience discriminaion in all sphereso lie—no jus he workplace.
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Te curren version o ENDA—which was recenly inroduced in boh houses o Congress—prohibis discriminaion in public and privae employmen on he basis o sexual orienaion and gender ideniy. Similar civil righs bills prohibiing discriminaionon he basis o race, sex, and age, however, have hisorically prohibied discriminaion noonly in employmen bu in all spheres o public lie. And as we’ll show, sexual orienaionand gender ideniy-based discriminaion in housing, healh care, and public accommo-daions is alive and well. Tis is especially rue or gay and ransgender people o color.Gay and ransgender Americans may be discriminaed agains in rening or buying hous-ing due o anigay or ransphobic landlords and propery managers. Healh care providers,oo, may harbor animus oward gay and ransgender individuals and consequenly deliversubopimal care or even reuse o see paiens who ideniy as such. And gay and ransgen-der individuals may experience an ourigh reusal o services when atemping o access ahos o public accommodaions including resaurans, parks, hoels, libraries, buses, muse-ums, and elsewhere simply because o heir sexual orienaion or gender ideniy.Unorunaely, no ederal law currenly exiss o shield gay and ransgender individu-als rom his ype o discriminaion. A pachwork o sae and local laws oers some o hese proecions o gay and ransgender Americans. Bu he lack o a comprehensiveederal law means ha a resauran owner in El Paso, exascan kick a gay coupleou o 
 
2Center or American Progress | Gay and Transgender Discrimination Outside the Workplace
his esablishmen simply because he couple shared a kiss wih one anoher. A landlordin Wes Virginiacan decline o show a propery o a lesbian couple. And a docor inIndianacan deny serviceo a paien based on her gender ideniy.Gay and ransgender vicims o discriminaion have no legal recourse o reciy heirgrievances in each o hese insances. Addiional saes and municipaliies should enac laws ha provide ull legal proec-ions or gay and ransgender Americans rom such egregious orms o discriminaion.Furher, saes and municipaliies wih exising nondiscriminaion saues and ordi-nances should vigorously enorce hem o he ulles exen o he law.Mos imporanly, Congress should pass a comprehensive ederal law ha prohibisall orms o discriminaion based on sexual orienaion and gender ideniy, includingdiscriminaion in housing, healh care, and public accommodaions in addiion ohe crucial passage o legislaion o oulaw employmen discriminaion based onhese caegories.Unil hen gay and ransgender Americans will coninue o be exposed o discriminaionha harms hem, heir amilies, and our naional sense o airness, jusice, and equaliy.Tis memo examines his problem more closely o show why comprehensive legislaion isneeded o proec hese Americans. I documens discriminaion in housing, healh care,and public accommodaions beore moving o he need or sronger proecions a heederal, sae, and local level given ha he curren pachwork proecions are inadequae.Specically, we recommend:
•
Enacing srong ederal, sae, and local laws prohibiing discriminaion on he basiso sexual orienaion and gender ideniy in employmen and in housing, healh care,and areas o public accommodaion
•
Exending he Fair Housing Ac’s scope o include “sexual orienaion” and “genderideniy” in is lis o proeced caegories
•
Sae and local agencies srongly enorcing heir nondiscriminaion proecions andinvesigaing any and all complains o discriminaion based on sexual orienaion orgender ideniy 
•
Healh care aciliies adoping policies ha would help ensure equal access o qualiy healh care or gay and ransgender paiens
•
 Areas o public accommodaion ensuring heir nondiscriminaion policies includesexual orienaion and gender ideniy 
 
3Center or American Progress | Gay and Transgender Discrimination Outside the Workplace
Evidence and rates of discrimination in the housing and rental markets
On January 24, 2011 he U.S. Deparmen o Housing and Urban Developmen, orHUD,released a reporrecognizing ha “here is evidence…ha lesbian, gay, bisexual,and ransgender individuals and amilies are being arbirarily excluded rom some hous-ing opporuniies in he privae secor.”HUD, in making his deerminaion, cied he mos comprehensive sudy onransgen-der discriminaiono dae conduced by he Naional Gay and Lesbian ask Force andhe Naional Cener or ransgender Equaliy, or NCE, as well as a2007 sudy o sex-ual orienaion discriminaionconduced by he Michigan Fair Housing Commission.HUD is currenly adminisering is own naional sudy o gay and ransgender discrimi-naion in housing, which i will release laer his year. According o hese and oher sources clear evidence exiss ha boh gay and ransgenderpeople experience higher incidences o discriminaion in he housing and renal mar-kes han he general populaion.
Housing discrimination based on sexual orientation
Te Michigan Fair Housing Commission’s sudy ound ha a subsanial number o individuals experienced discriminaion in he housing and renal markes based on heirsexual orienaion:
•
Tiry percen o same-sex couples were reaed negaively when atemping o buy orren propery.
•
Same-sex couples were shown less desirable properies, quoed higher ren prices,received less avorable cusomer service, or encounered an ourigh reusal o sell orren properies.
•
Gay individuals repored verbal harassmen rom landlords, realors, and lenders.Behind hese saisics are he sories o individuals and couples who were denied accesso equiable housing based on sexual orienaion:
•
 William Huberis a quadriplegic who was leasing an aparmen in SouhernCaliornia. He hired a live-in atendan, Cindy Kelly, o end o his needs. Huber wasswily and inexplicably eviced rom his aparmen when he landlord ound ouCindy was a lesbian and Huber associaed wih gay people.
•
 A same-sex couple in Norhern Caliorniaendured years o living nex o heir neigh- bors, who repeaedly called he gay couple “-----g aggos,” “queers,” and“but -----g boy lovers.”

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