GLAA Urges Stronger Anti-Discrimination Language in Welfare-to-Work Rules
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DC Human Rights Law

GLAA on Human Rights

GLAA Urges Stronger Anti-Discrimination Language in Welfare-to-Work Rules

GAY AND LESBIAN ACTIVISTS ALLIANCE
P.O. Box 75265
Washington, D.C. 20013
(202) 667-5139

October 20, 1999

Mr. Jesse P. Goode
General Counsel
Department of Human Services
2700 Martin Luther King Avenue, S.E.
801 East Building, 2nd Floor
Washington, D.C. 20032

Dear Mr. Goode:

I am writing in response to the "Request for Comments on State Plan for Administration of the Block Grant for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)," as published in the September 17 edition of the D.C. Register. TANF is a federally-funded cash assistance program for families with children that requires non-exempt adult recipients not already employed in unsubsidized employment to participate in work activities and that requires non-exempt applicants to participate in job search and job readiness activities.

Section 9, "Non-Discrimination Assurances," declares that: "The District assures that the following provisions of law will apply to programs and activities funded under TANF: The Age Discrimination Act of 1975; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990; and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964."

We believe this section needs to include a reference to the D.C. Human Rights Act of 1977, which is much more comprehensive than the federal anti-discrimination laws cited in the draft regulation. Among other ways in which our law is superior to federal legislation, the D.C. Human Rights Act forbids discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

While we realize that the TANF program is financed entirely with federal funds, the District government is nevertheless legally bound to obey all relevant D.C. laws in administering this program. Adding a reference to our own civil rights law merely acknowledges that fact of life, for the benefit of both the TANF administrators and the TANF clients.

Thank you for your consideration. We look forward to your response.

Sincerely,

Craig Howell
President

cc: Councilmember Sandy Allen, Chair, Committee on Human Services
Councilmember Kathy Patterson, Chair, Committee on Government Operations
Carlene Cheatam, Office of the Mayor


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