Updated: Apr 21, 2018
This month marked the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act! It was passed a week after the tragic assassination of MLK, and represents the culmination of years of his work. While we should celebrate its successes, we must also continue pushing for equal access to fair housing, both for low income individuals and for LGBT people who are not protected at a federal level or in many states.
The enactment of the federal Fair Housing Act on April 11, 1968 came only after a long and difficult journey. From 1966-1967, Congress regularly considered the fair housing bill, but failed to garner a strong enough majority for its passage. However, when the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968, President Lyndon Johnson utilized this national tragedy to urge for the bill's speedy Congressional approval. Since the 1966 open housing marches in Chicago, Dr. King's name had been closely associated with the fair housing legislation.
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