Male gay couples, especially Black male gay couples, face the highest rate of mortgage discrimination, according to an analysis published in the University of Chicago Law Review.
The conclusions were based on empirical data disclosed under federal housing law.
The study is the first to demonstrate widespread discrimination across the United States based on perceived sexual orientation, sex and race in the mortgage lending process.
Our analysis of over five million mortgage applications reveals that any FHA loan application filed by same-sex male co-applicants is significantly less likely to be approved compared to the white heterosexual baseline (holding lending risk constant). The most likely explanation for this pattern is sexual orientation based discrimination — despite the fact that FHA loans are the only type of loan in which discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is prohibited.
The study found that country wide same-sex male couples were nearly 2.5 percent to 7.5 percent less likely to be approved for a mortgage than their heterosexual counterparts with all other factors being equal.
“The situation is worse for couples of color and interracial couples. Black male same-sex couples have a 7.5 percent less chance of being approved for a mortgage loan — the worst of any racial combination — while interracial couples with a Black male being the main applicant are next in line with 6.8 percent less of a chance of being approved. Interracial couples with a white man being the main applicant are 4.3 percent less likely to be approved. White male couples are the least affected: they are 2.5 percent less likely than straight couples to get approved,” reported the Gay City Times based on the findings in the study.
Ironically legalizing marriage equality led to a huge boom in same sex couples buying homes but as LAMDA Legal’s Camilla Taylor, told Bank Rate back in September, “there are still no explicit protections from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation on a federal level with respect to credit.”
So even though lenders insured by the FHA are banned from considering perceived or actual sexual orientation, gender identity, the study suggest lenders still found ways around the rule because it can be difficult to prove discrimination and sometimes, for a variety of reasons, worthy cases are not pursued by the victims concluded the GCT.