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KY Human Rights Commission to hold 2nd Annual LGBT Fair Housing Forum in Louisville on June 12

Friday, 06 06, 2014

Victoria Stephens
Commission Headquarters: 1.800.292.5566
Stephens's Mobile phone: 502.641.0760

The Kentucky Commission on Human Rights will hold its second annual lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Fair Housing Forum in downtown Louisville on Thursday, June 12, from 10 am to 4 p.m. (Eastern Daylight Time) at the Brown Hotel. The hotel is located at the northeast corner of 4th Street and Broadway.

The public is invited to attend. Registration is required and space is limited on a first-come, first-serve basis. Contact at the commission Mary Ann Taylor at 502.782.9728 or email her at maryann.taylor@ky.gov to register or for more details.

The forum is part of the commission’s work with the U.S Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to reach LGBT people and their families who are interested in housing and other discrimination.

Among the activities, two guest speakers will make presentations at the forum.

Dr. Ronni Sanlo is a speaker and workshop presenter at colleges and universities around the country. Her focus is LGBT history, learning outcomes, strategic planning, and LGBT center development. She speaks not only from her perspective as a higher education and student affairs professor, LGBT center director, dean of students, and faculty in residence, but also from her personal life experiences, her website says.

With changing laws, policies, and attitudes, colleges and universities are seeking to create welcoming environments with learning outcomes that result in retention and persistence to graduation. Sanlo and her team of consultants work with institutions to help develop environments that are safe for students to learn and faculty and staff to teach and to work. Using the most current research and civic developments, she helps colleges and universities create a climate of welcome and understanding.

The other guest presenter is Maya Rupert, Esq., policy director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR). She  joined the NCLR in 2010 to advance federal policy and legislative priorities. Her work includes advocacy in many areas including federal legislation and regulations on housing, family policy, health, and employment.

She has been a regular contributing writer to a number of media outlets—including the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, and The Huffington Post—where she frequently addresses the intersection of race, sexual orientation, and gender identity. She has been recognized by national outlets like Ebony Magazine and The Root for being one of the most influential African American leaders in the country. Rupert received her law degree from U.C. Berkeley.

HUD established a rule in 2012 that provides equal opportunity and treatment for LGBT people who utilize HUD-funded housing and financing.

The rule, called, “Equal Access to Housing in HUD Programs Regardless of Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity,” provides the following protection:

• Eligibility determinations for HUD-assisted or -insured housing must be made “without regard to actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status.”

• It is prohibited to nquire about an applicant’s sexual orientation or gender identity for purposes of eligibility.

• Inquiries related to a person’s sex must be restricted to purposes of placing applicants in temporary, emergency shelters, or assessing the number of bedrooms necessary to accommodate a household.

• Sexual orientation and gender identity, or that perceived, cannot be part of a lending decision to getting a mortgage that is FHA-insured.

The Kentucky Commission on Human Rights supports expanding the Kentucky Civil Rights Act to include equal rights in housing, employment, public accommodations and financial transactions based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

In Kentucky, the cities of Covington, Frankfort, Lexington, Louisville, Morehead and Vicco have passed local ordinances expanding civil rights based on sexual orientation.

The Kentucky Commission on Human Rights is the state government agency that enforces the Kentucky Civil Rights Act, and through its affiliations with HUD and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, enforces the U.S. Civil Rights Act. Both of these laws make discrimination illegal. For more information on these laws and their protections, visit the website www.kchr.ky.gov or telephone 1.800.292.5566.

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