Maine senators push to add LGBT people to Fair Housing Act

PORTLAND, Maine — Maine’s two U.S. senators are introducing legislation designed to protect residents from housing discrimination that is based on gender identity or sexual orientation.

Republican Sen. Susan Collins and independent Sen. Angus King are joining with Virginia’s Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine in promoting the Fair and Equal Housing Act of 2019. The senators say the proposal would add gender identity and sexual orientation to the classes that are protected from discrimination by the Fair Housing Act.

The senators say 21 states and more than 200 localities around the country extend housing discrimination protections in this way.

The senators cite studies that say same-sex applicants are more likely to be denied a mortgage than heterosexual couples. The legislation is co-sponsored by 10 senators, all of whom are Democrats.

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