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40 Geo. Wash. Int'l L. Rev. 1343 (2008-2009)
Home Is Where the Heart Is: Sexual Orientation Discrimination and the Right to Adequate Housing in International Law

handle is hein.journals/gwilr40 and id is 1351 raw text is: NOTE
HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS:
SEXUAL ORIENTATION DISCRIMINATION
AND THE RIGHT TO ADEQUATE HOUSING
IN INTERNATIONAL LAW
Dara Smith*
I. INTRODUCTION
In 2006, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force reported that
although only 3 to 5 percent of people in the United States are
lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transsexual (LGBT), 20 to 40 percent of
homeless youths are LGBT individuals.' In part, the report attrib-
uted this vastly disproportionate rate within homelessness to perva-
sive discrimination against LGBT individuals in housing practices,
including refusal to accept LGBT individuals even at temporary
shelters.2 In fact, in recent years, watchdog groups in Canada, the
United Kingdom, Brazil, South Africa, and the United States have
documented similar and related problems.3 Although many state
governments have attempted to address racial, ethnic, and wealth
discrimination in housing, many of these governments have failed
* J.D. 2008, The George Washington University Law School; B.A. 2004, University of
Michigan. Many thanks to Professors Ralph Steinhardt, Jessica Clark, and Dan Rosenthal;
my notes editor Chris Nalevanko and the editorial staff of the George Washington Interna-
tional Law Review; Tulin Ozdeger and Eric Tars at the National Law Center on Homeless-
ness and Poverty; my parents, Steve Smith and Pam Swartz; the friends who got me through
law school; Jurgo, who inspired me; and of course, my husband, Chris. This project would
have been impossible without any one of you.
1. NICHOLAS RAY, LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, AND TRANSGENDER YOUTH: AN EPIDEMIC OF
HOMELESSNESS 1 (2006), available at http://www.thetaskforce.org/downloads/Homeless
Youth.pdf.
2. Id. at 4-5.
3. See, e.g., ONTARIO HUMAN RIGHTS COMM'N, POLICY ON DISCRIMINATION AND HARASS-
MENT BECAUSE OF SEXUAL ORIENTATION 9-10, 23-26 (2006) (discussing discrimination in
housing and employment against lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transexual (LGBT) individuals,
as well as hate crimes and domestic violence problems); STONEWALL CYMRU, THE HOUSING
NEEDS OF LESBIAN, GAY, AND BISEXUAL (LGB) PEOPLE IN WALES 22-26 (2006); Press Release,
Int'l Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Comm'n [IGLHRC], IGLHRC Calls for Global Mobili-
zation to Help Pass the UN Resolution on Sexual Orientation and Human Rights (Feb. 2,
2004), available at http://www.commondreams.org/news2004/0202-03.htm (discussing
human rights violations related to sexual orientation discrimination).
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