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A proposed new rule allows homeless shelters in the U.S. to turn away transgenders based on their physical appearance.

The Trump administration allows federally-funded housing services to turn away individuals whose gender identity does not match their biological sex.

The Trump administration allows federally-funded housing services to turn away individuals whose gender identity does not match their biological sex.The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) proposed a rule on July 1, 2020, that would permit federally funded homeless shelters to house transgender clients according to their sex assigned at birth and better accommodate shelter providers' religious beliefs. The HUD claims that the Fair Housing Act permits this change.

The HUD proposal would reverse a 2016 measure implemented under the Obama administration. The 2012 Equal Access Rule mandated that shelters are open to all eligible individuals and families regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status. The administration had issued further guidance clarifying that the rule barred shelters from denying access to trans people following their gender identity.

However, the proposed modification rule intends to effectively strike the 2016 trans-inclusive guidelines on housing transgender people in single-sex or sex-segregated shelters. The proposal also depicted that all shelter providers serving specific sex must provide people who do not accommodate with information about other shelters in the area that can meet their needs.

HUD Secretary Ben Carson stated shelter providers that lawfully operate as single-sex or sex-segregated facilities would be allowed to develop admissions determinations for people who have a different gender identity than what they were assigned at birth. He added that the update would empower shelter providers to set policies that align with their missions, like safeguarding domestic violence or human trafficking victims. He also pointed out that mission-focused shelter operators play a vital and compassionate role in communities across America, and the federal government should empower them.

The department also has plans to move further with the measure and urged each shelter's policy to be consistent with state and local law and must not discriminate based on sexual orientation or transgender status.

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