A new study finds that same-sex couples are treated less favorably than heterosexual couples when seeking information about rental housing advertised online.

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The Department of Housing and Urban Development commissioned the national study, the first of its kind.

It finds that gay and lesbian couples are less likely to receive a favorable response to email inquiries about rental properties than straight couples.

Federal housing laws do not bar discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. But 20 states and Washington, D.C., have passed laws that prohibit discrimination against people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan says the Obama administration is committed to making sure people are treated the same when searching for a home, regardless of sexual orientation.


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