Trulia, the real estate website, has released a new tool to help the LGBT community understand non-discrimination laws when it comes to housing, employment, and public accommodations. While national housing and employment non-discrimination laws protect classes like sex, race, age, color, religion, and national origin, they do not offer explicit protection for people who identify as LGBT.
Across the country, only 55.2 percent of all housing units are covered by local protections for sexual orientation and gender identity, while 22 states (plus Washington, D.C.) offer full protections. Keeping track of these protections can be confusing, which is why Trulia created Local Legal Protections, a feature available in the home details section of all property pages on Trulia. The tool clearly lays out whether these protections exist—and if so, whether they’re provided at the state, county, or city level—within the jurisdiction of any given search.
The tool was borne out of the company’s commitment to providing as comprehensive a snapshot—along side features like commute and amenity maps—of a neighborhood that prospective homebuyers are considering. The listings site hopes to expand its Local Legal Protections feature to other groups without explicit federal protections.
It should be noted that “queer” and “questioning” groups are not explicitly represented in the feature because the terms are not clearly defined from a policy perspective, but most laws prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity, regardless of the terms an individual may use to describe their sexual orientation and/or gender identity.