US: Carson Admits Ignoring Protections for LGBTQ in Homeless Shelters

Ben Carson – Image: REUTERS/Steve Marcus

Yesterday (20th) LGBTQ rights group, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) in the US, criticised Secretary Ben Carson’s admission that the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is delaying important resources protecting LGBTQ people in homeless shelters.

Carson testified yesterday during a budget hearing before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, HUD, and related agencies.

“Ben Carson [..] testified before Congress that he is ignoring protections for LGBTQ people in homeless shelters, and defended his inaction by citing debunked and mean-spirited claims about transgender people that completely lack merit,” said HRC Government Affairs Director David Stacy.

“The level of ignorance he has consistently shown as the nation’s top housing official is deeply alarming, and has clear consequences for LGBTQ people who experience disproportionate rates of homelessness. When homeless shelters become unwelcome spaces for LGBTQ people, the consequences are devastating.”

Ben Carson has a long history of opposing LGBTQ equality, and has been key a figure in the Trump-Pence Administration’s efforts to attack the civil rights of LGBTQ people.

Only two weeks ago, Carson floated a new HUD Department mission statement that removed mention of fighting discrimination in housing.

Last year, HUD withdrew a notice requiring emergency shelters, receiving HUD funding, to post information about LGBTQ people’s rights to access shelter safely, and in accordance with their gender identity.

During a separate budget hearing yesterday, Betsy DeVos defended the Department of Education’s refusal to investigate reports of discrimination against transgender students, in direct conflict with federal court rulings.

Last month, HRC called out the Department’s decision to advance the dangerous Trump-Pence anti-LGBTQ agenda.

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