The Biden Administration is going to make sure that LGBTQ people are protected in the world of finance.
According to the Washington Blade, the Biden Administration is shifting to be in compliance with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County. The case from last year found that anti-LGBTQ discrimination is a form of sex discrimination, which is illegal under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Essentially, this means anti-LGBTQ discrimination in many federal fields, including lending credit, is illegal.
Wishing to go with that court decision and Joe Biden’s day one executive order, the latter of which told federal agencies to follow the court decision, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced the policy change. From now on, the CFPB, which enforces the ECOA among other federal consumer finance regulations, will ensure that anti-LGBTQ discrimination within its boundaries is condemned.
“In issuing this interpretive rule, we’re making it clear that lenders cannot discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity,” CFPB Acting Director David Uejio said in a statement. “The CFPB will ensure that consumers are protected against such discrimination and provided equal opportunities in credit.”
Today, we issued an interpretive rule clarifying that discrimination by lenders on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity is illegal. https://t.co/B5t4MxOEUM
— consumerfinance.gov (@CFPB) March 9, 2021
Michael Adams, the CEO of the LGBTQ elder group SAGE, released a statement about CFPB’s announcement. He celebrated it as CFPB lifting “a burden for LGBT older people who, for much of their lives, have felt compelled to hide their sexual orientation and/or gender identity when seeking access to credit.”
“SAGE applauds the announcement by Acting Director Uejio and the Biden administration, confirming the vital legal protections LGBT elders – and all LGBT people – deserve regarding something as essential as access to credit,” Adams added.
Lambda Legal senior counsel Karen Loewy said in a statement, “We know that credit discrimination is a huge barrier to financial security for LGBTQ people, depriving people of financing for homes, cars, school, or small businesses,” noting that “studies show that same-sex couples routinely have been denied opportunities and faced less favorable terms than different-sex couples in seeking mortgages…[and] LGBTQ people regularly report being denied lines of credit.”
“This explicit interpretive rule renews and formalizes that commitment.”
“Today, thanks to the Consumer Federal Protection Bureau and President Biden, LGBTQ people can no longer be denied a loan or a credit card because of their sexual orientation or gender identity,” Alphonso David, the President of the Human Rights Campaign, said in his own statement.
He then added, “This announcement implementing the Supreme Court’s Bostock ruling and applying it to the Equal Credit Opportunity Act will make a huge impact on the lives of LGBTQ people, particularly transgender people and LGBTQ people of color who face disproportionate rates of discrimination. From Day One, the Biden administration has made unprecedented and immediate changes to the lives of the 11 million LGBTQ people across the country and we look forward to continuing our work together with the president and his administration moving forward.”