Administration withdraws Trump-era proposal to loosen protections for transgender homeless people

Administration withdraws Trump-era proposal to loosen protections for transgender homeless people
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The Biden administration is withdrawing a Trump-era proposal that sought to loosen protections for transgender homeless people.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced on Thursday that it is withdrawing the proposed rule, which would have weakened an Obama-era policy ensuring that LGBTQ individuals had access to homeless shelters.

Secretary Marcia FudgeMarcia FudgeNina Turner launches new campaign for Congress, setting up likely rematch with Shontel Brown The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden talks, Senate balks Buttigieg has high name recognition, favorability rating in Biden Cabinet: survey MORE said in a statement that the withdrawal is a “critical step in affirming HUD’s commitment that no person be denied access to housing or other critical services because of their gender identity.”

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The Trump administration proposed the rule in July; it would give single-sex homeless shelters more room to turn away transgender men and women.

The rule sparked backlash from Democrats who were already extremely critical of the administration’s other attempts to scale back federal protections for transgender Americans. Even before the rule’s introduction, Rep. Jennifer WextonJennifer Lynn WextonDCCC expands list of vulnerable House Democrats Virginia Supreme Court approves new lines for key swing districts Proposed Virginia maps put rising-star House Democrats at risk MORE (D-Va.) introduced a bill in 2019 attempting to halt it.

HUD’s statement on Thursday blasted the Trump administration’s rule, saying that it would have allowed for “HUD- sanctioned, federally funded discrimination against transgender people, who face disproportionately high rates of homelessness and extreme risk in unsheltered homelessness.”

The department argued that it would have allowed HUD-funded shelters to create policies excluding transgender and gender nonconforming people from being placed in single-sex facilities, and would have allowed them to make determinations about a person’s sex.

The move is the latest in the Biden administration’s push to undo former President TrumpDonald TrumpMark Walker to stay in North Carolina Senate race Judge lays out schedule for Eastman to speed up records processing for Jan. 6 panel Michael Avenatti cross-examines Stormy Daniels in his own fraud trial MORE’s legacy on LGBTQ issues, including his transgender military ban.

HUD in February announced that it is using the Fair Housing Act to penalize those who refuse to rent, sell or advertise housing to someone based on their sexual orientation or gender.