The Department of Housing and Urban Development has filed a lawsuit on behalf of Roxanne Joganik and Darlina Anthony against George Toone, the owner of an RV park in Athens.
The couple said they were advised not to comment but confirmed that the suit had been filed.
Dallas Voice reported in August about the case that could be a landmark in establishing discrimination based on gender identity, which is already covered under U.S. law as sex discrimination.
HUD gives these reasons as the legal basis for the suit in the court document:
1. It is unlawful to discriminate against any person in the terms, conditions, or privileges of sale or rental of a dwelling, or in the provision of services or facilities in connection therewith, because of sex.
2. It is unlawful to coerce, intimidate, threaten, or interfere with any person in the exercise or enjoyment of, or on account of his having exercised or enjoyed, or on account of his having aided or encouraged any other person in the exercise or enjoyment of, any right granted or protected by section 804 of the Act.
HUD alleges a number of housing discrimination charges but some are specific to the transgender community:
• prohibiting someone from dressing as a female in the park violates federal fair housing laws.
• requests that the park rules be amended to include protections against sex discrimination were denied.
• park rules included a rule that “Management reserves the right to refuse entrance to the R.V. park to any person for any reason other than for reasons based on race, religion, handicapped, color or national origin.” This rule should include sex or familial status, protected classes under the Fair Housing Act.
• park owner did not want complainant to wear female clothing in the park because there are children around the pool and it is “not the type of atmosphere we want to promote on private property.” Mr. Toone would rather not have transgender persons in the common areas of the park.
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