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Bank of America Fined $7,500 for Anti-Gay Housing Discrimination

January 3rd, 2013 Joseph Pedro
Image via Passport

Image via Passport

In an historic move, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development made its first direct action against a bank for violating its recently enacted LGBT Equal Access Rule. Today, it was announced that HUD reached a settlement agreement in a claim it brought against Bank of America for discriminating against a lesbian couple who applied for a federally insured mortgage loan. The rule, which represents one of the most significant federal nondiscrimination efforts ever taken on behalf of the LGBT, went into effect on March 5, 2012. It prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and marital status in public housing and HUD’s core housing programs, including eligibility determinations for mortgage loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration. The ruling came after a lesbian couple applied for a mortgage loan in Florida, but were denied because the two were not married, which under the new provision was deemed discriminatory. The agreement requires BOA to pay a $7,500 fine. Additionally, it requires BOA to retrain its employees about the Equal Access Rule. [NCLR]

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