WASHINGTON (AP) — Same-sex couples are treated less favorably than heterosexual couples when seeking information about rental housing advertised over the Internet, according to a first-of-its-kind national study from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The study, released Tuesday, found that gay and lesbian couples were less likely to receive a response to e-mail inquiries about rental properties than straight couples. It also found that gay couples experienced discrimination slightly more often than lesbian couples.
HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan said the findings show a need “to continue our efforts to ensure that everyone is treated the same when it comes to finding a home to call their own, regardless of their sexual orientation.”
Federal housing laws do not bar discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. But 20 states and Washington, D.C., have passed laws that prohibit discrimination against people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.
The agency recently issued new guidance that treats discrimination based on “sex stereotyping” or “gender nonconformity” as sex discrimination under the Fair Housing Act.
The HUD study is based on nearly 7,000 email tests in 50 major metropolitan markets between June and October 2011. In each test, two emails were sent to a landlord seeking information about a unit that was advertised online — one from a same-sex couple, and another from a heterosexual couple.
Heterosexual couples were favored over gay male couples 11.6 percent of the time and over lesbian couples 11.2 in percent of tests.
Samantha Friedman, a sociology professor at the University of Albany and lead author of the study, said that in some instances, it’s possible the lack of response could have been for reasons other than discrimination. But she called the overall numbers alarming.
“Given how easy it is for providers to respond to emails, this finding is disturbing that they’re not getting a response,” Friedman said. “This discrimination is found at the initial stage of the housing search process, which would mean that same-sex couples are being shut out of the housing process right away.”
The study found slightly more adverse treatment for same-sex couples in states with more protective discrimination laws than in states without.
HUD officials called the study a first step toward future research on same-sex housing discrimination. The agency said it plans to conduct in-person testing and conduct a closer examination of same-sex protections that have been approved in cities, towns and counties.
“This study’s results are disturbing and confirm something we’ve all suspected but didn’t have the firm data to prove — lesbian and gay couples are discriminated against when they look for places to live,” said Ian Thompson, legislative representative for the American Civil Liberties Union.
The ACLU is urging Congress to amend the Fair Housing Act to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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