Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2017-09-20
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Court Rules Boulder County Landlord Discriminated Against LGBT Family
From a press release
2017-04-05

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


( Denver, CO, April 5, 2017 ) — A federal district court judge today ruled that a Boulder County property owner violated both the federal Fair Housing Act and the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act when she refused to rent a housing unit to Lambda Legal clients Rachel and Tonya Smith, a same-sex couple, one of whom is transgender, and their children, because she worried their "uniqueness" would jeopardize her standing in the community.

"This is a tremendous victory for Rachel and Tonya, their children, and LGBT people, couples, and families across the country," Lambda Legal Staff Attorney Omar Gonzalez-Pagan said. "For the first time, a federal court has ruled that the Fair Housing Act's sex discrimination prohibitions apply to discrimination based on stereotypes about sexual orientation and gender identity. This is two federal courts two days in a row that have said that laws prohibiting sex discrimination protect LGBT people. It sends a strong message: discrimination against LGBT Americans in housing and employment is illegal and will not be tolerated.

"The facts in this case are indisputable: Deepika Avanti refused to rent to Tonya and Rachel Smith because they are women in a same-sex relationship raising children together and Rachel is transgender," Gonzalez-Pagan added. "Her concerns about Rachel and Tonya's 'uniqueness' and 'unique relationship' were discrimination, pure and simple, and we are grateful that the judge agreed."

In the court's opinion filed today, U.S District Judge Raymond P. Moore wrote:

In this case, the Smiths contend that discrimination against women ( like them ) for failure to conform to stereotype norms concerning to or with whom a woman should be attracted, should marry, and/or should have children is discrimination on the basis of sex under the FHA. The Court agrees. Such stereotypical norms are no different from other stereotypes associated with women, such as the way she should dress or act ( e.g., that a woman should not be overly aggressive, or should not act macho ), and are products of sex stereotyping.

"We are delighted with this ruling," Tonya Smith said. "We were so shocked and upset by Deepika's emails, that simply because of who we are she wouldn't rent to us. We felt it was unfair and illegal, and now a court has agreed. No one should ever have to go through what we went through, and hopefully this ruling will protect other couples like us who are trying to provide safe homes for their families."

"While housing discrimination is a pervasive problem for LGBT people, it is very much underreported," Gonzalez-Pagan added. "In many instances, LGBT people who are either overtly or subtly discriminated against in housing do not report the discrimination because of their immediate need to find housing or due to the costs of pursuing a claim. Property owners who engage in this kind of discrimination must be held accountable."

Lambda Legal has long fought for the rights of LGBT people and families in all areas of life including housing and employment. Just yesterday, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals issued an historic decision holding that discriminating against someone in employment because they are lesbian, gay or bisexual is a form of sex discrimination. And presently, Lambda Legal is appealing a suit against an Illinois senior living facility for failing to protect a resident from sex- and sexual orientation-based harassment.

Additional Background:

Tonya and Rachel Smith are a loving, committed same-sex couple living in Colorado. They have been married for seven years and have two children, ages seven and three. Rachel is also transgender.

In early 2015, Tonya and Rachel were looking to find a new home for their young family. In April, they located a two-bedroom townhouse in the community of Gold Hill, Colorado, that seemed to meet all of their needs — affordable, lots of outdoor space where their children could play, and near a small, high quality public school. After meeting the landlord, Deepika Avanti, and touring both that unit and a three-bedroom unit on the same property, Tonya and Rachel believed they had found their dream home.

However, within hours, Avanti emailed Tonya and Rachel and informed them she would not be renting either unit to them, because she thought their "unique relationship" would become the focus of discussion in town and would harm her standing in the community. She added that she had kept a low profile for 30 years, but that would no longer be possible if she rented to them due to Tonya and Rachel's "uniqueness."

Handling the case for Lambda Legal are Omar Gonzalez-Pagan, Staff Attorney, and Karen Loewy, Senior Counsel. They are joined by pro-bono co-counsel Benjamin N. Simler of Holland & Hart LLP.

Read the ruling here: www.lambdalegal.org/in-court/legal-docs/smith_co_20170405_order .

More information about the lawsuit, Smith v. Avanti, can be found here: www.lambdalegal.org/in-court/cases/co_smith-v-avanti .


facebook twitter google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

HRC Condemns Expanded Muslim Ban 2017-09-25 - WASHINGTON, DC — Today, the Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ) reacted to Donald Trump's xenophobic actions extending his Muslim travel ban issued ...


Gay News

Advocates for Student Sexual Assault Survivors condemn Education's ending guidelines 2017-09-25 - Washington, DC — A coalition of legal and policy advocates today condemned a decision by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to rescind and ...


Gay News

Groups watch for judges setting money bonds too high for many to pay 2017-09-25 - On Monday, Sept. 18, a general order by Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans aimed at stopping judges from setting bonds that people ...


Gay News

#HireTrans Chicago campaign launches 2017-09-25 - A new Chicago-based campaign, #HireTrans, is launching this week in advance of an LGBTQ job fair Sept. 29. Windy City Times, Chicago's LGBTQ ...


Gay News

Hate graffiti sprayed on homes of Lincoln Square families 2017-09-24 - In the early-morning hours of Sept. 24, Bradd Easton left his Lincoln Square house that he shares with husband Jeff Zacharias and their ...


Gay News

Michael Johnson bypasses trial, is sentenced to 10 years for hiding HIV status 2017-09-22 - New York, NY, Sept. 21, 2017 — Today, in conclusion to a prosecution short on fairness and riddled with questions about racism and ...


Gay News

DeVos reverses Obama-era guidelines to schools on sexual assault 2017-09-22 - On Sept. 22, U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos rescinded the Obama-era Title IX guidance to schools on dealing with sexual assault on campus. ...


Gay News

GLAD, NCLR react to transgender military ban, anti-transgender judicial nominee 2017-09-20 - ( WASHINGTON, D.C., September 20, 2017 )—Today, the National Center for Lesbian Rights ( NCLR ) and GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders ( ...


Gay News

State ACLU retains Guidetti as lawyer 2017-09-20 - The American Civil Liberties Union ( ACLU ) of Illinois announced it has retained Ghirlandi Guidetti as a staff attorney in its Chicago ...


Gay News

Lake County raises cigarette buying age to 21 2017-09-20 - Lake County is set to become the first area in Illinois to raise the minimum age to buy cigarettes, tobacco products and electronic ...


 



Copyright © 2017 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.