Michigan residents may be aware that the Fair Housing Act protects individuals against discrimination based on gender and other attributes. However, a Missouri retirement community called Friendship Village recently rejected a lesbian married couple citing the fact that they were married. This was after they toured the facilities and made a $2,000 deposit. Friendship Village reportedly believes that marriage is between a man and a woman as stated in the Bible.
In a lawsuit, the couple claims that this violates the Fair Housing Act. One of the women says that she didn’t check to see if the couple’s lifestyle would be an issue because other facilities had said it would not be. They chose Friendship Village over the other options because of cost and the care that was made available to them. Legal professionals have mixed opinions as to how the case will be decided. One said that the law will probably side with the retirement community as it is a private organization.
However, they will likely be entitled to get their $2,000 back. Another said that a victory could work to level the playing field between religious and secular housing providers. If the couple wins, it could have the potential to expand the Fair Housing Act to protect against discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation.
Those who are not allowed to rent or buy a property because of their race, gender or other attributes could be a victim of discrimination. The same may be true if a person is not given the ability to see online advertising campaigns used to promote a home sale or apartment rental. Individuals who believe that they have been treated in violation of the Fair Housing Act may benefit from seeking the assistance of an attorney.