Manassas, VA -- On Friday, May 31, Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton (VA-10) hosted a roundtable on the importance of the Equal Access Rule, particularly the provisions of the rule that protect transgender people seeking accommodations at shelters receiving funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
At the roundtable, Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton was joined by Virginia Delegate Danica Roem, the Human Rights Campaign, the National Center for Transgender Equality, Mobile Hope Loudoun, and constituents impacted by HUD's proposed rule.
Constituents shared personal stories about how they had been denied access to emergency shelter, and experts discussed the importance of preserving the Equal Access Rule’s protections for transgender Americans seeking access to life-saving shelter.
“Today's roundtable was an important opportunity to bring attention to the real life impact of HUD's proposed rule,” said Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton. “This change by Secretary Carson would certainly put lives at risk and it’s just another example of this administration’s all-out assault on the rights of the LGBTQ community, particularly transgender Americans. We’re talking about a rule that would allow shelters to turn their backs on kids without a safe place to stay, transgender women fleeing domestic violence, and people looking for a roof over their heads after a natural disaster--that’s just plain wrong.”
On Wednesday, May 22, 2019, HUD Secretary Ben Carson proposed a new rule that would gut provisions of the Equal Access Rule. The announcement of the proposed rule came the day after Secretary Carson assured Congresswoman Wexton in testimony before the House Financial Services Committee that he was not anticipating any changes to the Equal Access Rule.
In response to HUD's new rule targeting transgender people, Congresswoman Wexton has introduced the Ensuring Equal Access to Shelter Act, which would block HUD's proposed rule.
A full video of the roundtable can be found here.