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Does Housing Discrimination Still Exist in the United States?

In 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that states do not have the right to ban same-sex marriage. However, while same-sex couples might be on equal footing with their heterosexual peers in terms of getting hitched, they still find themselves on shaky ground when it comes to buying a home together. According to a 2019 study by Iowa State University, same-sex couples are 73 percent less likely to be approved for a mortgage loan than heterosexual couples. The study also found that even though gay couples are considered "less risky overall" to lenders -- meaning they are no more likely to default on loans and are less prone to prepaying their mortgages -- they can expect to pay between .02 and .2 percent more in interest on such loans. One of the study's authors cautioned that, if nothing else, the results strongly suggest a need for a formal investigation, pointing out that "the potentially existing lending discrimination might just reflect a corner of the iceberg." As of 2019, 26 U.S. states do not have housing protection for members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community.

Same-sex marriage:

  • In 2009, fewer than four in 10 Americans approved of same-sex marriage; as of 2019, the percentage has climbed to six in 10.

  • The Netherlands was the first nation to legalize gay marriage, in April 2001.

  • The TV shows Roseanne and Friends featured gay marriages in the mid-1990s, nearly two decades before same-sex marriage was legalized across the United States.

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