Federal court rules Fair Housing Act covers LGBTQ+ community

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Just in time for Fair Housing Month, a federal court found — for the first time — that the prohibition against sex discrimination in the Fair Housing Act covers LGBTQ+ people.

The case was brought on when the Smith family (composed of Tonya Smith and Rachel Smith, who is transgender, and their two children) sued Deepika Avanti for refusing to rent one of her townhouses to the Smith family in the tiny town of Gold Hill, Colorado, in Boulder County.

The refusal was due to concerns regarding the children and “noise” as well as the Smiths’ “unique relationship,” which Avanti feared would become the focus of the small community and jeopardize her and her husband’s “low profile.”

The Smith’s alleged sex discrimination and familial status discrimination in violation of the Fair Housing Act (FHA) and the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act. The family also alleged sexual orientation discrimination under the CADA.

The court ruled in favor of the family on all five counts.