The Department of Housing and Urban Development has moved to end protections for homeless transgender people by allowing agency-funded shelter providers to consider a person’s gender in determining admission, Politico reports. The proposal, released Wednesday, states that shelters “may establish a policy, consistent with state and local law, by which such Shelter Provider considers an individual’s sex for the purposes of determining accommodation[.]” The new rule would roll back an Obama-era requirement that single-sex shelters getting HUD funding provide equal access “in accordance with an individual’s gender identity.” A HUD spokesperson told Politico the proposal was aimed at giving shelters more flexibility in admission decisions for those who might “misrepresent” their gender to “sex-specific shelters.” A day before the proposal was released, HUD Secretary Ben Carson said he was not anticipating any changes to the Obama-era Equal Access Rule while being questioned by Congress. “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,” Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-VA) told Politico.
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