The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development proposed a rule that would allow HUD-funded women’s shelters to deny access to transgender women and anyone who does not meet a shelter’s stereotype about what a woman looks like (and vice versa for men’s shelters), which would force more transgender and gender-nonconforming people onto the streets during an epidemic of violence against transgender people and a global health pandemic. This Proposed Rule would strip protections for transgender and gender-nonconforming people seeking HUD-funded shelter and is rooted in harmful stereotypes about transgender persons, particularly transgender women.
NWLC submitted a comment strongly opposing this Proposed Rule, stressing the following:
- Access to safe shelter is vital to the well-being of all women, including transgender women and all survivors of gender-based violence.
- The Proposed Rule perpetuates sex discrimination by permitting women’s shelters to create an admittance policy that treats transgender women differently than cisgender women and by permitting shelters to engage in sex stereotyping through their own assessment of someone’s sex.
- The Proposed Rule is impractical. It proposes a regulatory structure that conflicts with other federal, state, and municipal nondiscrimination laws, would be impossible for shelters to navigate, and would be harmful to transgender women and all women who do not conform to sex-based stereotypes.
- The Proposed Rule is arbitrary and capricious.