Only 12 U.S. states protect a person who identifies as LGBT from housing discrimination. The 12 are California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wisconsin. Aside from these states, there are cities with their own ordinances in this area, such as Chicago, Atlanta and Miami.
That means 38 states don’t protect members of the LGBT community against housing discrimination. Some landlords, upon learning a tenant identifies as LGBT, seek to evict them. Some of these landlords use their religion as an excuse, saying their religion conflicts with their tenants’ lifestyle choice. Other times the reason is much more direct, as landlords state they don’t like gay people and therefore the tenants must leave immediately.
Unfortunately it isn’t just adults who are facing this problem, as a student who attended Seton Hall was evicted from his dorm because he was gay. His roommate, who didn’t agree with the gay student’s lifestyle, had requested a new apartment. Instead of moving the complainer, the school made the young man who was gay move out.
Although media coverage on this topic can be found, the point that everyone is missing is that housing – unlike, say, the much more highly publicized issue of gay marriage – is a basic necessity. Media coverage focuses on the legal aspect, and while it’s great for people to know their rights, it’s also important to remind people just how unfair this is. Housing is something that every person needs and it’s a shame that someone could lose it all because of his or her sexuality.
“Gay Couple in New York Sues Landlord for Discrimination,” Nadel & Associates, P.C., October 9, 2013, http://www.nadelassociates.com/blog/2013/10/gay-couple-in-new-york-sues-landlord-for-discrimination.shtml.
“Fair Housing Laws: Renters’ Protection from Sexual Orientation Discrimination,” FindLaw, Accessed December 13, 2013, http://civilrights.findlaw.com/discrimination/fair-housing-laws-renters-protection-from-sexual-orientation.html.
“Student Evicted from Dorm for Being Gay,” The AdvocateMarch 16, 2011, http://www.advocate.com/news/daily-news/2011/03/16/nj-student-says-he-was-evicted-dorm-being-gay.
Student Researcher: Korei Martin (Frostburg State University)
Faculty Evaluator: Andy Duncan (Frostburg State University)