The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has proposed new regulations to ensure that its core housing programs are open to all eligible persons, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
More from Ed O'Keefe at the Washington Post:
The department unveiled a series of proposed rule changes Thursday that would prohibit lenders from using sexual orientation or gender identity as a way of determining a borrower's eligibility. In a nod to same-sex marriages and same-sex parents, the rule change would state that eligible families have the opportunity to participate in HUD-based programs regardless of marital status or sexual orientation.
The new rules, if adopted, also would prohibit owners and operators of HUD-funded housing from asking applicants or occupants of the housing about sexual orientation or gender identity. ...
"This is a fundamental issue of fairness," HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan said Thursday.
The proposed rules must undergo a 60-day public comment period before formal implemented. If approved, they would joint a growing list of policy and procedural changes made by federal agencies that don't require congressional approval, including gender-neutral passport application forms, changes to how the U.S. Census Bureau counts same-sex relationships and the extension of fringe benefits to the same-sex partners of gay and lesbian federal workers.
In October 2009, you may recall that HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan announced a series of initiatives to ensure LGBTs are not denied access to federally subsidized housing based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Last June, for the first time in history, HUD announced that grant applicants seeking HUD funding must comply with state and local anti-discrimination laws that protect LGBT individuals.