The Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO) is an agency within the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.
FHEO is responsible for administering and enforcing federal fair housing laws and establishing policies that make sure all Americans have equal access to the housing of their choice.
The Equality Act, which is currently proposed in the United States Congress, would outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity nationwide. This leaves residents of some states unprotected against discrimination in employment, housing, and private or public services.
Until 2009, a 1969 federal law defined hate crimes committed on the basis of a person's race, color, religion, or nation origin when engaging in a federally protected activity.
In October 2009, Congress passed the Matthew Shepard Act, which expanded the definition of hate crimes to include gender, sexual orientation, gender-identity, and disability.
Two statutes, the Hate Crime Statistics Act (1990) and the Campus Hate Crimes Right to Know Act (1997), require the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as well as college/university campus security authorities, to collect and publish hate crime statistics.
Forty-six states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico have statutes criminalizing various types of bias-motivated violence or intimidation (the exceptions are AR, GA, SC, and WY).
Federal protections are proposed under the Equality Act.
The Stonewall Inn in the gay village of Greenwich Village, Manhattan, adorned with rainbow flags during a pride event.
The Inn was the site of the eponymous Stonewall riots in June 1969: a series of events which precipitated the modern LGBT rights movement.
Stonewall has since become an icon of LGBT culture and gay pride in the United States.
The age of consent in each jurisdiction varies from age 16 to 18, with some jurisdictions maintaining different ages of consent for males/females or for same-sex/opposite-sex relations.
As a result, LGBT persons in the United States still face some challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents, particularly in the Bible belt and rural areas. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ruled that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not allow gender identity-based employment discrimination because it is considered sexual discrimination.
Such rights are not protected by law in many states.