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Photo: Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has withdrawn a Trump-era proposed rule that would have allowed federally funded emergency shelters and other facilities to exclude transgender people and others based on gender identity.

Why it matters: Transgender people already face additional barriers to housing. 1 in 5 trans people in the U.S. has been discriminated against when seeking shelter, according to the National Center for Transgender Equality.

  • The Trump-era proposal would have allowed single-sex shelters to house only people whose assigned sex at birth — not gender identity — matches the sex of the shelter.
  • The rule would've also given shelters leave to "subject transgender individuals to inappropriate and intrusive inquiries, deny them accommodations, and subject them to greater harassment," according to HUD.

What they're saying: "Today, we are taking a critical step in affirming HUD’s commitment that no person be denied access to housing or other critical services because of their gender identity. HUD is open for business for all," HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge said.

Civil rights groups applauded the move. "Housing is a human right," said James Esseks, director of the ACLU's LGBTQ & HIV Project. "Ensuring shelters are open to all will save lives."

Go deeper

North Dakota governor vetoes transgender sports bill

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum. Photo: Stephen Yang/Getty Images

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum (R) on Wednesday vetoed a bill passed to prevent transgender students from taking part in K-12 school sports.

Why it matters: The bill was one of over 50 in 28 states introduced this year to exclude transgender youth from playing sports on teams that align with their gender identity.

Manhattan to stop prosecuting prostitution

Photo: Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images

Manhattan district attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. announced on Wednesday that his office would stop prosecuting prostitution, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: The movement to decriminalize sex work has been gaining steam for the past couple of years.

Miriam Kramer, author of Space
44 mins ago - Science

China makes history with successful Mars landing

A model of the Tianwen-1 Mars rover is displayed during an exhibition at the National Museum of China in Beijing. Photo: Wang Zhao/AFP via Getty Images

A Chinese lander carrying a rover successfully touched down on Mars for the first time, state media reports.

Why it matters: This is the first time China has landed a spacecraft on another planet, and it launches the nation into an elite club of only a few space agencies to successfully make it to the Martian surface.

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