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HUD offers LGBT housing protections

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The nation's housing agency announced a new policy Thursday to provide further assistance to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people who file complaints of housing discrimination. The federal Fair Housing Act, adopted in 1968 and amended in 1988, does not explicitly forbid housing discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.Specifically, it does not allow discrimination in rental, sales and lending based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability and familial status, including the presence of children in a household. Under the new guidelines issued by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), however, the department's staff are to inform complainants about state and local agencies that do have laws forbidding housing discrimination against LGBT individuals and families. Twenty states and Washington, D.C., ban housing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, according to HUD's website. Fourteen of those states als...