Lambda Legal Applauds HUD Withdrawal of Trump Rule Inviting Discrimination Against Transgender People Seeking Shelter

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April 22, 2021

Yesterday, the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Marcia L. Fudge announced that HUD is withdrawing the rule proposed by the Trump administration that would have invited federally-funded homeless shelters and facilities to deny admission to transgender people. Lambda Legal celebrated this important action.

Lambda Legal Senior Attorney and Co-Director of Lambda Legal’s Transgender Rights Project, Sasha Buchert, issued the following statement:

“Secretary Fudge’s withdrawal of this cruel rule, and her affirming words about the rights and dignity of transgender and gender nonconforming people are a real breath of fresh air. Transgender people already experience disproportionately higher rates of discrimination, poverty, and violence, which is especially marked for transgender women of color. After four long years of incessant attacks on our community and amid current state legislative efforts seeking to single out and hurt transgender young people, we welcome this action to ensure that the most vulnerable among us have equal access to safe and stable housing and shelter which are a basic human necessity.”

In July 2020, the Trump administration proposed a rule that gave federally funded emergency shelters the power to turn away transgender and gender nonconforming people in need. The proposed rule would have weakened the Obama-era Equal Access Rule, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, and marital status in HUD-insured and assisted housing, and which explicitly prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity in shelters. As a result of yesterday’s withdrawal, the Equal Access Rule and its robust protections for LGBTQ people stands.

For Lambda Legal’s work on housing and LGBTQ rights, see Smith v. Avanti and Wetzel v. Glen St. Andrew Living Community.