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Shaun Donovan, the secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), has pledged his commitment to ensuring that transgender individuals do not face housing discrimination.

In a blog posting on the HUD website, Donovan noted that he made history earlier this week when he spoke about housing before a nonprofit advocacy group focused on transgender rights.

"I had the privilege of being the first sitting cabinet secretary to speak before the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE)," he wrote. "At the NCTE, I was proud to represent an administration that has done remarkable work to advance equality for transgender people ... the Obama administration has treated the fight for equality for the transgender community not as an issue, but as a priority."

Although the rights of people within the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) demographic are not covered by the Fair Housing Act, Donovan insisted that HUD is using its policies to ensure anti-discrimination protection via his department's policies. He also noted an ongoing national study commissioned by HUD to determine the depth of housing discrimination based on sexual orientation.

"And for all we've accomplished thus far, as President Obama has said, the change we need won’t be led by Washington, but by 'ordinary citizens … propelled not just by politics but by love and friendship and a sense of mutual regard,'" he added. "Those are the values we're committed to advancing in this administration with partners across the LGBT community. Those are the values that shape the work that lies ahead."


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