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Thu Apr 4, 2019, 09:23 PM

Ben Carson questioned on HUD's lack of LGBTQ nondiscrimination guidance

Source: NBC News

Ben Carson questioned on HUD's lack of LGBTQ nondiscrimination guidance

“We are all now more stupid than we were when we came in the room today,” Rep. Mike Quigley, D-Ill., said after a heated exchange with the HUD secretary.

April 4, 2019, 12:09 PM EDT
By Eileen Street

WASHINGTON — Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson said in a hearing Wednesday that a Democratic congressman “might not like” and “probably wouldn’t agree with” the department’s LGBTQ nondiscrimination guidance, if the agency were to provide it.

During the House Appropriations Subcommittee hearing, Rep. Mike Quigley, D-Ill., said he was “very disappointed” with HUD's decision not to replace the LGBTQ nondiscrimination guidance that the department removed from its website soon after Carson was appointed by President Donald Trump over two years ago. The guidance, provided in 2009 by the Obama administration, was intended to help HUD housing providers and shelters interpret the agency’s rules so as not to discriminate against LGBTQ service recipients.

“So, how will these grantees comply with the regs without this guidance, sir?” Quigley asked Carson.

Carson responded that the guidance “was pretty much obliterated” by rules HUD issued in 2012 and 2016. The secretary added that HUD “concluded that putting that sub-regulatory guidance" regarding anti-LGBTQ discrimination "actually confused the issue." He said his agency — which is responsible for national policy and programs that address America’s housing needs and enforces fair housing laws — was trying to “simplify things” and said the rules still stand and have not been changed.

Quigley, who serves as vice chair of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus, pressed on, saying “HUD grantees need guidance to avoid the discrimination and to make clear to them what the rules are.” Quigley also stated that HUD missed a deadline “by almost six months” to review the guidance in question that the agency took down in 2017. Carson responded by saying the agreement had been that the guidelines would be reviewed, not that they would be put back up on HUD's website.

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Read more: https://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/ben-carson-questioned-hud-s-lack-lgbtq-nondiscrimination-guidance-n990821

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