On January 20, 2011, HUD issued a proposed rule clarifying that all otherwise eligible households, regardless of marital status, sexual orientation, or gender identity, have an equal opportunity to participate in HUD programs.
This rule would also expand the definition of familial status to include anyone acting in the role of a parent for an individual under age 18, including same-sex parents or unmarried couples. The Rule also
• Prohibits lenders from using sexual orientation or gender identity as a basis for rejecting a borrower’s application for FHA-insured financing; and
• Prohibits owners and operators of HUD-assisted housing, or housing whose financing is insured by HUD, from inquiring about the sexual orientation or gender identity of an applicant for, or occupant of, a dwelling.
This rule is being proposed in response to the failure of Congress to pass the Housing Opportunities Made Equal (HOME) Act in 2010, which would have added these groups as protected classes under the Fair Housing Act.
You may read the proposed rule at http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/huddoc?id=LGBTPR.pdf
If you wish to comment on the rule, you may do so on line at http://www.regulations.gov and reference docket # FR 5359-P-01.
I will keep you informed as this proposed rule moves through the regulatory process.