Everyone deserves the right to choose housing free from discrimination.  
But more than 50 years after the passage of the Fair Housing Act, not everyone is afforded that right. And until recently, that right didn’t protect LGBTQ+ members of our community. 
“Quinn” and “Taylor” are two Mainers who faced housing discrimination because of their gender identity. Quinn identifies as nonbinary, but the property owner and manager refuse to respect their gender identity and expression. Taylor is trans and is harassed and taunted by his landlord.  
Quinn and Taylor are not alone. More than half of LGBTQ+ Americans say they have experienced harassment, violence, or threats because of their identity. And one study found that transgender and gender non-conforming people seeking housing are disproportionately discriminated against 61% of the time. Everyone has the right to a home, and to be safe at their home.  
But now, there are new federal protections for LGBTQ+ members of our community, and Pine Tree Legal Assistance is already enforcing them!  
On January 20, 2021, President Biden issued an Executive Order in response to the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Bostock v Clayton County, which held that the prohibitions against sex discrimination in the workplace contained in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 extend to and include discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The Executive Order directed every federal agency to assess all agency actions taken under federal statutes that prohibit sex discrimination and to fully enforce those statutes to combat discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.  
Within a few weeks, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced that it would enforce the Fair Housing Act to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. 
Since this landmark expansion of protections, Pine Tree Legal’s Fair Housing project has already started working with Quinn and Taylor to enforce their rights to fair housing. 
Enforcing fair housing laws is important to advancing fairness and justice for all of us. Learn more about fair housing laws on our website and support this important work. Thank you for advocating for Pine Tree Legal Assistance, our neighborhoods, and our state.  

Patricia Ender
Fair Housing Attorney, Augusta

Number of Years at Pine Tree: 38  

Where is your favorite place in Maine? 
My favorite place in Maine is where I live. We have streams, forests, a lake, and lots of birds and animals. It’s a wonderful, beautiful area. I also love Acadia and the beaches in the south.  

What are some hobbies you enjoy outside of work? 
I try to exercise every day and walk every day.  

Where did you go to law school?
Berkeley Law School  

What is your most memorable case Pine Tree? 
The Kelderhouse case which required a multi-day trial and resulted in a landmark decision under the Fair Housing Act and the Maine Human Rights Act involving race based discrimination, providing $40,000 in damages and legal fees of $75,000.  

Why did you want to work at Pine Tree? What brought you to Pine Tree and what did you do before? 
I started at Pine Tree in 1983 as my second job out of law school after moving to the east coast to be near family. I believe in legal services and was looking for a job in that world. I had represented people on race issues on the west coast and had done organizing work, which led to a strong sense of justice, particularly racial justice. I’ve always been involved in public benefits cases and then became involved with landlord/tenant law in Maine. Working on fair housing cases for protected classes meshed well with my experience and interest. I find this work very meaningful. 

Moosey is an adorable stuffed animal who travels our great state and visits interesting places. Can you guess where Moosey was this month? Check out our Facebook page for more pictures and fascinating facts from Moosey’s adventures. 
This month, Moosey visited the Gerald E. Talbot Community School, which is named for a Maine civil rights leader. Talbot was the first Black legislator to serve in the state of Maine, the founding president of the Portland, Maine chapter of the NAACP, and was president of the Maine State Board of Education under Governor Joseph Brennan. Talbot's livelong advocacy for fair housing laws was inspired by his own struggles to obtain housing.  

Can you guess where in Maine is Moosey? 
Check out our Facebook page for more updates on Moosey throughout the month!
Free PTLA Sticker!

Now you can show your support for Pine Tree Legal Assistance with a sticker. Put it on your water bottle, laptop, or anywhere really!

Let us know if you want one and we will mail it to you!
Help empower others by sharing resources from our website and Facebook. Join us every Tuesday and help spread the word about our new weekly Eviction Information Sessions
Join our community of attorneys and advocates working to increase access to justice for low-income Mainers! Learn more about volunteer opportunities.
Your generous gifts make our work possible. Consider making a donation to Pine Tree.

Members of the Maine Bar should instead donate to the Campaign for Justice.
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Copyright © 2021, Pine Tree Legal Assistance, All rights reserved.

Pine Tree Legal Assistance is a non-profit, is a 501(c)(3) organization incorporated on June 14, 1966. Our tax ID number is 01-02 79387. Pine Tree Legal Assistance is funded in part by the Legal Services Corporation (“LSC”). As a condition of the funding received from LSC, Pine Tree Legal Assistance is restricted in certain activities in all of its legal work, including work supported by other funding sources. Pine Tree Legal Assistance may not expend any funds for any activity prohibited by the Legal Services Corporation Act, 42 U.S.C §2996 et. seq. or by Public Law 104-134. Public Law 104—234 §504(d) required that notice of these restrictions be given to all funders or programs funded by the Legal Services Corporation. For a copy of these laws or any further information, please contact: Executive Director, Pine Tree Legal Assistance, PO Box 547, Portland, Maine 04112; Tel. 207-774-4753.