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OFFICIAL MAGAZINE OF THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®

Daily Real Estate News  |  November 9, 2010  |   NAR Bars Sexual Orientation Discrimination
The change to Article 10 of the REALTORSŪ Code of Ethics passed in a roll-call vote by a greater than 9-to-1 margin. It had been previously approved by the Professional Standards Committee and the Board of Directors at the 2010 Midyear Meetings in Washington D.C.

Here is the amended language of Article 10 (additions are underlined):

REALTORSŪ shall not deny equal professional services to any person for reasons of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin, or sexual orientation.

REALTORSŪ shall not be parties to any plan or agreement to discriminate against a person or persons on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin, or sexual orientation.

REALTORSŪ, in their real estate employment practices, shall not discriminate against any person or persons on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin, or sexual orientation.

A related recommendation amending Standard of Practice 10-3 was approved as well:

REALTORSŪ shall not print, display or circulate any statement or advertisement with respect to selling or renting of a property that indicates any preference, limitations or discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin, or sexual orientation.

The amendment was discussed prior to the vote. A few of the questions raised were:

1. Is "sexual orientation," without qualifiers or any further explanation, the right phrasing?
2. Is NAR denying private property rights (ostensibly, the right of property owners to refuse to do business with people of a certain sexual orientation due to their moral beliefs)?
3. Should NAR precede the federal government in adding sexual orientation as a protected class?

In response to the third question, a delegate from Minneapolis pointed out that the purpose of the Code of Ethics was to hold REALTORSŪ to a higher standard. Another delegate who approved of the amendment said the Code of Ethics was a living document.

Delegates approved the Code change by voice vote, but one delegate called for a vote by ballot. In ballot voting weighted by size of local association, the amendment passed by more than 93 percent.

- Brian Summerfield, REALTORŪ Magazine



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