Posts Tagged Sexual orientation

Conference of Catholic Bishops and HUD at odds about discrimination practices

This post may be a little more political than most here, but this is an issue I believe strongly in: equal housing rights for all, and by “all” I mean everyone including matters regarding sexual orientation. We’ll save religious discrimination in housing for another post.

It seems though that the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is peeved at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for Equal Access to Housing in HUD Programs—Regardless of Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity – 76 Fed. Reg. 4194, Docket No. FR 5359-P-01 (Jan. 24, 2011).

The Conference of Catholic Bishops feels as per their statement:

…making “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” a protected classification for purposes of federal housing programs has no support in any Act of Congress and appears at odds with at least one other, namely, the Defense of Marriage Act. Unlike discrimination based on age, disability, or other categories long recognized in federal law, Congress has never acted to prohibit discrimination generally, or housing discrimination in particular, because of sexual orientation or gender identity. Accordingly, there is no statutory basis for a rule forbidding such discrimination in HUD programs, and there is a statute that would be undermined by such a rule.

that they should be able to discriminate in their housing assistance programs BUT still receive taxpayer money through HUD to administer these programs.

I say if they want to discriminate that’s their business (though it’s not ethical by any means), but don’t use my tax money to do so because I don’t support their position. If the Catholic Church or any other religious organization wants to discriminate against any group of people than they should not receive public money do so.

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West Valley leaders approve LGBT non-discrimination ordinance

WEST VALLEY CITY (Deseret News June 3, 2010) — The West Valley City Council approved an ordinance Tuesday night that will protect the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community from discrimination on housing or employment in the city.

West Valley becomes the fifth Utah municipality to implement ordinances to protect residents from housing or employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

West Valley leaders’ action follows those of officials in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Park City and most recently Logan in extending the statewide Utah Antidiscrimination Act to include protections for the LGBT community in their areas.

As the City Council meeting opened the floor for residents to speak, again and again they voiced their support for the ordinance.

“I’m a property owner,” said Stacia Ireland, a West Valley resident. “I don’t have to worry about being kicked out of my apartment. I’m retired. I don’t have to worry about my job being threatened. But I know there are people out there who do have these concerns.”

The “grass-roots feel” of support for the ordinance was something Brandie Balken, executive director of Equality Utah, noted about each municipality that has passed such laws.

“Within each of these cities, each of these counties, residents have stood up and said, ‘You know, this is important to me, to my community, and I want to see this happen in my community,’ ” Balken said.

Equality Utah is a nonprofit group that created the “Ten in 2010” initiative to have 10 cities in Utah pass ordinances that protect LGBT people at work and at home.

In addition to the five municipalities with antidiscrimination ordinances in place, Balken has talked to officials in eight other cities and counties about doing something similar. Leaders in Taylorsville, Summit County, Moab, Granite County, Torrey, Cedar City, Ogden and Weber County all have expressed interest in such ordinances, she said.

Whether the 2011 state legislative session includes a statewide law that mirrors these city ordinances and add to the Utah Antidiscrimination Act remains up in the air.

In the 2010 session, lawmakers on both sides of the argument agreed to allow the Salt Lake City ordinance to play out for a better understanding on the impact such laws have on landlords, business owners and community members. In a stalemate, both conceded in pushing forward any legislation on the issue. But in next year’s session, Salt Lake City will have had the ordinance in place for more than a year, giving lawmakers insight on how the laws are used in communities.

“There’s a lot of people in the state who want to do the right thing,” said West Valley City Mayor Mike Winder, “but they often need the template of how to do that right thing, and the Salt Lake City ordinance has provided that template.”

The West Valley City ordinance passed by a 5-1 vote.

Winder, who voted in favor of the ordinance, will sign it and make its passage official at 4 p.m. June 8 at West Valley City Hall, 3600 S. Constitution Blvd.


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