June 2, 2015

Celebrating LGBT Month and Breaking Barriers

Photo: The Department of Opportunity for the LGBTQ Community.

This week marks the beginning of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Month, 2015 — a time to recognize the lasting contributions that these Americans have made to our nation, and to honor the progress that’s been achieved in securing equal opportunity for all.

Right now, we’re in the midst of a period of transformative change.  In recent years, barriers that once blocked too many of our fellow Americans from living and loving freely have come tumbling down.

In 2013, the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, helping ensure that all couples are treated fairly under the law.  Same-sex couples are now able to get married in 37 states.  And earlier this year, President Obama’s Executive Order on LGBT Workplace Discrimination went into effect, outlawing federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

We’ve come a long way in the march for equal rights, and I’m proud of the role that HUD has played in this journey.  In 2012, we issued a bold new Equal Access Rule to ensure that our core programs are available to all, regardless of who they are or who they love.  Earlier this year, we issued new guidance that strengthened and reaffirmed our commitment to this work.  We’ve also formed a partnership with the True Colors Fund, and other federal agencies, to help LGBT youth build a future that’s defined by hope, not homelessness.

I’m proud of these achievements and thank all who have collaborated with HUD to advance these important efforts. The fight for LGBT equality is one of the most important movements in history.  Our nation is at its best when opportunity is available, not just to some, but to all.  We still have a lot of work to do — both here at HUD and in the areas we serve.  That’s why I look forward to continuing our efforts to shape communities where every American is welcomed, respected and accepted.

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