What's at Stake
The ACLU brought the lawsuit on behalf of the Hispanic AIDS Forum (HAF) in 2001 after the agency was forced out of its home of 10 years in New York City because the landlord yielded to complaints from another tenant that the agency’s transgender clients were using the “wrong” restrooms.
HAF repeatedly tried to negotiate with the landlord to reach an agreement over the use of the restrooms that would be acceptable to all parties, but the landlord refused to renew the lease, saying it didn’t even want the transgender clients in any of the common areas of the building.
Although the landlord claims that transgender people are not protected by the state’s civil rights laws, the ACLU points out in its brief that trial courts in four previous cases have all held that discrimination against transgender people is illegal in New York. HAF’s TransLatina service program is in a Queens neighborhood that is an epicenter of the AIDS epidemic in U.S. Latino communities.