MCRC, MDCR Applaud HUD Decision Protecting LGBTQ Community Against Housing Discrimination

Contact: Vicki Levengood levengoodv@michigan.gov

February 12, 2021

LANSING, MI - Today leaders of the Michigan Civil Rights Commission and the Michigan Department of Civil Rights issued statements applauding the decision by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) affirming that the Fair Housing Act provides protection from discrimination for the LGBTQ community.

HUD’s decision means that the Fair Housing Act provision that prohibits discrimination on the basis of “sex” includes protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

“The HUD decision echoes the call made by the Michigan Civil Rights Commission in May of 2018, when we issued an interpretive statement declaring that the word “sex” in Michigan’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act includes protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity,” said Stacie Clayton, Chair of the Michigan Civil Rights Commission. “It is a position the Commission has held for well over a decade: that LGBTQ individuals deserve the protections of civil rights. It is gratifying to see our decision reflected on the federal level, and we expect other agencies will soon follow suit.”

“Fair housing for all has been an unwavering commitment of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights since its creation,” said James E. White, Director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights. “This decision from HUD extends vital protection for the right to fair housing to the LGBTQ community in Michigan and nationwide. This action is one more step toward ensuring no one is discriminated against on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. We urge the Michigan legislature to take the next step and extend protections for our LGBTQ family members, friends and neighbors in the state’s primary civil rights law, the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act.”

The Michigan Civil Rights Commission was created by the Michigan Constitution to safeguard constitutional and legal guarantees against discrimination. The Commission is charged with investigating alleged discrimination against any person because of religion, race, color or national origin, genetic information, sex, age, marital status, height, weight, arrest record, and physical and mental disability. The Michigan Department of Civil Rights serves as the operational arm of the Commission.

For more information on the Michigan Civil Rights Commission and the Michigan Department of Civil Rights, go to www.michigan.gov/mdcr.

# # #