California outlawed Section 8 housing discrimination. Why it still persists
Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case that is set to make the 2015 decision to legalize marriage equality forgay couples nationwide. The Court is currently holding oral hearings on the same-sex marriage cases of Hollingsworth v. Perry and Hollingsworth v. Perry, which are both scheduled to take place next month. The Court’s decision in these cases could have a profound effect on housing and other civil rights law.
The Hollingsworth Court Case
The Hollingsworth case began on Wednesday morning, October 16, when plaintiffs sued the city of Montgomery, Alabama, officials, the Montgomery Housing Authority, and two members of the agency. The suit alleged that officials and the Housing Authority “intentionally discriminated on the basis of gender in the provision of city-made low-income housing” while “the defendants failed to provide housing to female applicants for whom they otherwise would have made available housing.”
The suit also alleged that the officials “intentionally discriminated on the basis of gender in the provision of low-income housing that was available to applicants in the same manner as to individuals who were not women.”
The plaintiffs also claimed that “the city intentionally discriminated by failing to award or renew housing contracts to women.”
The Housing Authority, Montgomery Public Schools, and Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange all claimed that the suit should be dismissed by the court without elaboration. The defendants cited their earlier statement to the court, that “Plaintiffs fail to allege or demonstrate either an unlawful discriminatory animus by the city-owned housing authority or by the city-operated public schools.”
The plaintiffs, meanwhile, were prepared to show the court that the discrimination was “intentional.” They cited to a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development report in which the agency concluded that the “gender bias” reflected in the housing and related programs of Montgomery and other African