US court says Housing Act covers harassed LGBT tenant

A federal appeals court in Chicago has found that the U.S. Fair Housing Act places obligations on landlords to protect LGBT tenants from harassment by other tenants.

Monday night's ruling by the 7th U.S. Court of Appeals sides with 70-year-old Marsha Wetzel. She accused a suburban Chicago senior living center of doing nothing to stop other residents from hurling homophobic slurs at her and even striking her because of her sexual orientation.

The unanimous ruling by the three-judge panel reverses a lower-court judge who tossed Wetzel's lawsuit against the Glen Saint Andrew Living Community in Niles.

The new ruling says landlords are liable if they're notified of tenant-on-tenant harassment of an LGBT tenant yet choose "not to take any reasonable steps" to stop it.