Both the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development have stated that they will accept formal complaints of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity under the broad category of “sex” as a protected class. This means that if a case is otherwise meritorious and jurisdictional, a complaint can be filed against you at the state or federal level for discriminating against individuals based on LGBTQ+ status. Treating someone in a discriminatory manner because they do not comply with your idea of what constitutes typical gender conformity would constitute unlawful discrimination under both state and federal law.
At the time of printing this manual, more than 50 municipalities, including almost all of the major cities in Pennsylvania, have passed ordinances prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender expression, and/or gender identity. Check with your local government for more information.
In addition, the National Association of Realtors® Code of Ethics prohibits Realtors® from discriminating based on sexual orientation. HUD’s Equal Access Rule prohibits HUD funded housing programs from discriminating based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status.
If you accept Housing Choice Vouchers, you must comply with HUD’s Equal Access Rule and may not discriminate against an applicant or a resident because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status.