Led by nuclear-grade moron Ben Carson, the Department of Housing and Urban Development has announced it will remove protections for homeless trans people by allowing government-funded shelters to discriminate on the basis of gender identification, according to Politico. The new rules are part of a proposal released Wednesday by the department.
Under the Obama administration, HUD put a rule in place that required government-funded single-sex shelters to “provide equal access to programs, benefits, services, and accommodations in accordance with an individual’s gender identity.”
Carson specifically told Congress yesterday that he was “not currently anticipating changing” the Equal Access Rule.
“Yesterday, I asked Secretary Carson directly if he was anticipating any changes to HUD’s Equal Access Rule, and he said no,” Rep. Jennifer Wexton told Politico. “The announcement today that HUD will now allow anti-trans discrimination in shelters demonstrates that he either lied to Congress or has no idea what policies his agency is pursuing. Either way, it’s unacceptable.”
HUD released a statement about the new policy that included a bunch of transphobic dreck.
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“Later this year, HUD will be proposing a change to the 2016 rule that will offer local homeless shelter providers greater flexibility when making decisions about individuals who may misrepresent their sex to access sex-specific shelters,” a spokesperson for HUD told Politico. “HUD is, and will always be, committed to ensuring that every person accessing its programs can do so without discrimination.”
The proposal specifically allows government-funded shelters to make decisions about admittance based on “religious beliefs,” echoing the language in a recently adopted Health and Human Services rule that allows medical providers to refuse to provide gender confirmation treatment if it goes against their “conscience.” This administration is truly dedicated to attacking trans people from all sides!
The idea that trans people trying to access a shelter that aligns with their gender identity are “misrepresenting their sex” is disgusting, offensive, and inaccurate.
Trans people are already one of the populations in America most likely to be impacted by homelessness. According to the U.S. Trans Survey, one in three trans people have experienced homelessness at some point in their lives.
Trans advocacy groups were outraged by the new rule.
“This is a heartless attack on some of the most vulnerable people in our society,” Mara Keisling, Executive Director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, said in a statement. “The programs impacted by this rule are life-saving for transgender people, particularly youth rejected by their families, and a lack of stable housing fuels the violence and abuse that takes the lives of many transgender people of color across the country. Secretary Carson’s actions are contrary to the mission of his Department and yet another example of tragic cruelty of this administration.”
“Transgender people already face disproportionate levels of discrimination at shelters, putting them at higher risk for harassment, violence, and illness,” the organization added on Twitter. “This will only make the situation worse.”