And gay and transgender individuals may experience an outright refusal of services when attempting to access a host of public accommodations including restaurants, parks, hotels, libraries, buses, museums, and elsewhere simply because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.Unfortunately, no federal law currently exists to shield gay and transgender individuals from this type of discrimination.Powers describes the incident: This incident prompted them to consider moving out of North Dakota to a state that would provide the couple legal recourse if they faced a similar situation in the future.
Many of these victims of discrimination had their stories shared before the House Judiciary Committee in March 2010 in a hearing on the Fair Housing Act.
At the time, the House was considering amending the act to include sexual orientation and gender identity in its nondiscrimination provisions: This type of discrimination results in elevated rates of homelessness for this group as well as a host of negative social outcomes associated with homelessness.
And as we’ll show, sexual orientation and gender identity-based discrimination in housing, health care, and public accommodations is alive and well.
This is especially true for gay and transgender people of color.
Gay and transgender Americans may be discriminated against in renting or buying housing due to antigay or transphobic landlords and property managers.
Health care providers, too, may harbor animus toward gay and transgender individuals and consequently deliver suboptimal care or even refuse to see patients who identify as such.The Task Force and NCTE’s study on transgender discrimination reveals the following statistics due in part to gender identity-based discrimination in housing and rental markets: Transgender Americans clearly face significant obstacles in obtaining equitable access to housing.The Task Force and NCTE found that transgender people of color experienced even higher rates of discrimination.The current version of ENDA—which was recently introduced in both houses of Congress—prohibits discrimination in public and private employment on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.Similar civil rights bills prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, sex, and age, however, have historically prohibited discrimination not only in employment but in all spheres of public life.But victims are more likely to have their discrimination complaints dismissed or ignored if they live in localities that lack these legal protections.