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Deb Price
Deb Price
2 Jun 2010
One Very Gay Time

"So tell me, America, how do I introduce Joyce?" I posed that question back in May 1992 in the … Read More.

26 May 2010
Martina, Always a Winner

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18 May 2010
Elena Kagan: Supreme Poker Player

Elena Kagan is in line for a pivotal seat on the Supreme Court, the one being vacated by ardent gay ally … Read More.

For Rent -- Just Not to You

Comment

A transgender apartment-hunter thought he'd found a perfect place in Baltimore. But when he showed up, the woman raised the rent by $100 over the advertised price, said she would only take cash and was clearly uncomfortable.

"She asked me if I was a boy or a girl, and after I explained everything, her tone noticeably changed. I then had a female friend of the same age inquire about that very apartment, and she was given the original price and was told that a check would be an acceptable form of payment."

Sadly, the experience of "Owen S.," reported to the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, is all too common.

Last year, the Task Force joined forces with the National Center for Transgender Equality to survey 6,456 transgender people. An alarming 11 percent reported having been evicted because of their gender identity and 19 percent said they'd become homeless, the survey found. And while 68 percent of Americans own a home, only 32 percent of transgender Americans have achieved that level of security in their living arrangements.

Of course, gay, lesbian and bisexual Americans are also frequently the victims of housing discrimination. Using testers posing as would-be renters or buyers, the Michigan Fair Housing Centers reported in 2007 that 27 percent of same-sex couples were treated differently: "We found differences in rental rates, level of encouragement and application fees that favored the male/female test teams. We also saw behavior bordering on sexual harassment directed toward testers posing as same-sex couples," the group noted.

One Detroit landlord, for example, said, "No drugs, prostitution, homosexuality, one-night stands."

Likewise, the Kaiser Family Foundation reported in 2001 that 34 percent of lesbians, gays or bisexuals said "they or someone they know" had experienced discrimination while trying to rent an apartment or buy a house.

Nothing in federal law prohibits refusing to rent or sell to those of us who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.

And as Rep. Jerry Nadler, a New York Democrat, recently stressed, "Housing discrimination remains a persistent problem in our country."

Nadler, chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, made that point at a groundbreaking hearing on March 11 devoted in part to looking at anti-LGBT bias in the housing market.

"Jim Crow laws and restrictive covenants may no longer be with us, but the discriminatory attitudes and practices they represented remain," Nadler added.

Nadler recently introduced legislation to amend the Fair Housing Act to add sexual orientation and gender identity to the protected categories. Enacted in 1968 to outlaw housing discrimination based on race, color, religion or national original, the measure has gradually been expanded to also cover sex, disability and familial status. House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, D-Mich., is co-sponsoring Nadler's drive for a much-needed upgrade.

Eighteen states and Washington, D.C., ban anti-gay housing discrimination, of which 12 and D.C., also prohibit housing bias based on gender identity, according to the Human Rights Campaign. That means that in more than half the nation LGBT Americans have zero protection from severely misguided landlords, real estate agents or homeowners.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is preparing to launch a first-of-its-kind national investigation of housing discrimination against LGBT Americans. At hud.gov, the department is collecting suggestions about smart ways to proceed.

Task Force Executive Director Rea Carey, who testified at Nadler's hearing, praises HUD's determination to document the problem, but emphasizes the pressing need to broaden federal housing protections to include LGBT Americans.

"For us, the pursuit of the American dream, including home ownership, is a risky proposition," she said.

Want to put down roots for six months or a lifetime? Want someplace to call "home sweet home"? Housing discrimination shouldn't be allowed to get in the way. It's wrong. And it ought to be illegal.

Deb Price of The Detroit News writes the first nationally syndicated column on gay issues. To find out more about Deb Price and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2010 CREATORS.COM



Comments

1 Comments | Post Comment
There are deeper problems in our country than we even know. Laws have a way of legitimating prejudice, which unleashes brutality even in normally mild, respectable citizens. This encourages meanness and cruelty, even to the point of making it acceptable to kill "undesirables" among us.

In 1995 a cop found a chrunched up piece of paper, a sea shell, a merry xmas balloon in front of her house. For this, Kini Cosma was condemned and convicted in darkness as a felony stalker and sex offender (As G-d is my witness.) The victors continuing to take on this vanquished woman by confining her indefinitely to an abyss of hell .

Wrongly scapegoated and criminalized because she is a lesbian and perceived as a sex object, actions are being permitted to forcibly change her very ability to formulate particular thoughts and are contributing to the hateful expressions to tally its score in the forms of making ALL LEGAL ACTIVITIES ILLEGAL.

Despite her fierce resistance and rigorous battles and appeals for violations of the internationally recognized prohibition of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, which governments are called upon to interpret so as to extend the widest possible protection against abuses, whether physical or mental, this author is now prohibited from engaging in constitutionally protected activities others are entitled to.

This disparate impact of discrimination has manifested itself into the active encouragement of constant harassment, the toleration of the harassing behavior, and the failure to take adequate steps to deter or punish harassment resulting in over 15 years of police brutality, menacing communities and judicial terrorism to create ever-changing forms of confinement in a life of misery, grief, and torture.

The serial abusers have been law enforcement officers from the cities of Napa and Susanville in California to Klamath Falls, Oregon who are highly skilled at abuse without being detected. At the cost of doing business, other U.S. officials has arbitrarily detained and isolated Kini Cosma in petty legal limbo indefinitely.

This ignored consistent pattern of gross and reliably attested violation of human right have costed a calibration of harm that will never be replaced and cover the financial, emotional deficits sustained or be cured through mental health.

The cruelty of this madness and verocity is further compounded by media cover-up, a systematic, deliberate cover-up; a media blackout that is diverting this author's financial resources by implicating these ever-changing forms of obstructing justice, practices that have infected the justice system at every turn since before 1995.

The extraordinary obstacles of systematic neglect have included the icy sophistry prolonging mental anguish, inhuman and degrading treatment profoundly separating her from the human family.

Alco Metals (http://www.alcometals.com) illegally seized Kini's $100k rightfully inherited trust estate funds so that this author would have to suffer years of lost business entrepreneurship, joblessness, and other lost opportunities to frustrate purposes of productivity.

There is a wealth of information and resources available to help victims of domestic violence recognize and escape the violence in their lives, except if your batterer happens to be a police officer. Most of the progress that has been made in developing resources and assistance for battered women is of no benefit to me and there are no affirmative actions to halt their behavior.

None of this behavior is exclusive to systematic infringers who continue to use psychological warfare, corporate greed, and enhanced techniques while claiming "THE FIFTH."

Help stop aggravated relational aggression using police perpetrated violence and community bullying. Sign the petition at: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/bigotry-in-all-its-ideologies

-Kini-of Equestrian Travel Mall and Legal Services
http://judiciary.zoomshare.com and: http://judiciary.zoomshare.com/files/OBSTRUCTION.pdf
Comment: #1
Posted by: Kini Cosma
Wed Apr 7, 2010 4:31 PM
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