Today, H.R. 3018, the Ensuring Equal Access to Shelter Act, introduced by Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton (VA-10), was reported favorably out of the House Financial Services Committee by a vote of 33-26.
The Ensuring Equal Access to Shelter Act would block a proposed rule by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to allow homeless shelters to deny transgender people equal access to services.
The proposed rule would gut the Equal Access Rule implemented by HUD in 2012 to ensure shelters do not discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
HUD issued this proposal one day after Secretary Ben Carson told Congresswoman Wexton and the House Financial Services Committee that his department was “not currently anticipating changing the rule.”
“The administration’s proposal to allow discrimination against transgender people at federally-funded shelters is wrong and dangerous,” said Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton. “Shelters save lives--I can’t overstate how dire the consequences can be when a transgender individual seeking emergency shelter is turned away. I thank my colleagues for recognizing the seriousness of this issue and for advancing my bill out of committee.”
WATCH: Congresswoman Wexton's opening remarks during markup of the Ensuring Equal Access to Shelter Act can be viewed here.