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The original March memo includes a para- graph dealing with the federal Fair Housing Act of 1968, which outlawed discrimination based on a variety of categories, but not sexual orientation. "There is no protection against discrimination based on sexual orien- tation in federal or state housing laws," reads the memo. But the April follow-up from DeMarsh com- plicates that picture. "While the [Fair Housing] Act does not explic- itly include the term 'sexual orientation,' sex discrimination includes non-confor- mity with gender stereotypes according to agency guidelines," the new memo reads. "[U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development] Regulations also provide some protection from discrimination under some circumstances based upon familial status." According to county spokesperson Curt Preisser, DeMarsh's office continued its research on the topic on its own. The new memo was not requested by the commission or staff. Attached to the memo is an explanation from the Housing and Urban Development website, with a few examples of how gays and lesbians may already be protected, if not explicitly. In one example, a gay man is evicted because "the landlord believes he will infect other tenants with HIV/AIDS." He would be protected because the man is "per- ceived to have a disability." Another example involves a potential transgender applicant, The Sarasota County Commission prepares for the start of a meeting. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 20

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