On January 20, President Joe Biden signed Executive Order 13988 on Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation. In the executive action, President Biden stated, “Every person should be treated with respect and dignity and should be able to live without fear, no matter who they are or whom they love. It is the policy of my administration to prevent and combat discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation, and to fully enforce Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and other laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation.”
On February 11, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced that it would immediately administer and enforce the Fair Housing Act to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
“CAI has long supported policy that prohibits housing discrimination. While 20 states already explicitly provide protection on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, it is fair and just for all Americans, in every state, to live without fear of housing discrimination,” says Thomas M. Skiba, CAE, CAI’s chief executive officer. “CAI strongly supports the Biden administration’s swift, long overdue, and historic action to combat housing discrimination and expand protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity.”
Attorney Susan B. Tarley, a fellow in CAI’s College of Community Association Lawyers (CCAL), presented a substantive manuscript on the topic of community associations and transgender individuals during CAI’s Community Association Law Seminar in 2018. In her presentation, she shared statistics from a 2016 report conducted by the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law estimating that there are more than 1.4 million adults in the U.S. who identify as transgender. This population is racially and ethnically diverse, with 55% identifying as white, 16% as African American or black, 21% as Hispanic or Latino, and 8% as another race or ethnicity. (It’s worth noting that the LGBTQ+ community is historically undercounted, and efforts to accurately quantify the current transgender population in the U.S. are ongoing.)
More than 73.9 million Americans currently live in community associations, according to the Foundation for Community Association Research. It is a human right for all people to be safe and free from discrimination and enjoy the place they call home.