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Statement Re: HUD Proposed Regulations for Homeless Shelter Access for Trans and Non-binary

(Washington, DC, July 23, 2020)

“It is clear that Trump and Carson don’t understand the people they are responsible for serving, and this rule makes it clear that they also don’t understand the law.  The inept drafting of this rule would be laughable if it didn’t have so much potential to cause harm…..”

The following statement can be attributed to Megan Maury, Policy Director, National LGBTQ Task Force:

“This morning, the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) formally published a proposed regulation on how service providers should interpret nondiscrimination protections for transgender and nonbinary people who need access to homeless shelters.  Not only does the proposed rule lay bare Carson and Trump’s transphobic views, it is riddled with misunderstandings of the law and functional impossibilities.

 Just over a month ago – as HUD was sending this proposed rule to Congress for review – the Supreme Court ruled in the Bostock case that it is impossible to discriminate on the basis of gender identity without discriminating on the basis of sex.  Though HUD had the opportunity to revise this rule in light of that case, they chose instead to issue the rule in the same form as it had been written before the Bostock decision.  This decision means that the rule effectively ignores the Supreme Court’s legal reasoning and will almost certainly be overturned immediately if it is ever finalized.

Even if the Bostock decision hadn’t been released last month, the very basic legal and technical errors would be shocking if we hadn’t become so accustomed to them over the last four years.  The proposed rule violates HUD’s own statements about whether shelters are ‘housing’ under the Fair Housing Act, is embarrassingly inaccurate in its interpretation of ‘perceived gender’ in state law, and even seems to misunderstand foundational concepts of discrimination.  The proposal puts inoperable standards in place for shelters, including expecting shelters to be (in Carson’s own words) ‘in the best position to determine the sex of persons they are committed to serve,” and mandating a referral provision that would be difficult to implement even in cities with a robust continuum of care.”

Megan Maury, Policy Director, National LGBTQ Task Force

The National LGBTQ Task Force advances full freedom, justice, and equity for LGBTQ people. We are building a future where everyone can be free to be their entire selves in every aspect of their lives. Today, despite all the progress we’ve made to end discrimination, millions of LGBTQ people face barriers in every aspect of their lives: in housing, employment, healthcare, retirement, and basic human rights. For more information go to

Cathy Renna, Interim Communications Director, National LGBTQ Task Force, [email protected], 917-757-6123