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The Biden administration on Thursday withdrew a rule proposed by the Trump administration that would have allowed single-sex homeless shelters to exclude transgender people from facilities that correspond with their gender identity.
The rule was part of a broad, governmentwide effort by the Trump administration to impose restrictions on civil rights for transgender people, even after a Supreme Court ruling affirming protections for gay and transgender workers. President Biden had broadly exerted the power of his office to freeze or overturn some of those restrictions almost immediately after taking office.
“We are taking a critical step in affirming HUD’s commitment that no person be denied access to housing or other critical services because of their gender identity,” Marcia L. Fudge, the housing secretary, said of the rule withdrawal in a statement. “HUD is open for business for all.”
The action represented a stark change in policy at the housing department, which said under the Trump administration last year that the rule would allow shelters to base admissions on “biological sex,” adding that the rule change would accommodate the “religious beliefs of shelter providers.”
Ben Carson, the previous housing secretary, had also expressed concern earlier, in 2019, about “big, hairy men” gaining access to women’s shelters to abuse or attack women seeking protection.
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