"Pride of Ownership" was the focus of a forum hosted by Dream Town LGBT Client Services Division, part of Dream Town Realty in Chicago. The event was at Center on Halsted April 26.
Moderator for the event was openly gay CBS 2 Chicago reporter Brad Edwards.
The panel featured activists and attorneys, plus mortgage and realty experts.
Speakers were longtime activist Terry Cosgrove, commissioner of the Illinois Human Rights Commission; Byron Wardlaw, assistant general council for that same commission; Nicole Bashor, vice president of the Lesbian and Gay Bar Association of Chicago; longtime activist Rick Garcia; attorney Jill Metz; Vince Keufner of Guaranteed Rate Mortgage; and from Dream Town Realty, Amie Klujian and Todd Szwajkowski, president of the LGBT Client Services Division.
After a brief overview of the history of LGBT rights in Illinois, and the new marriage equality law, the discussion focused on bias in the real estate area, including in dealing with homophobic agents, mortgage brokers and contractors. While there are legal remedies, discrimination is often difficult to prove, so Dream Town's goal is to be proactive with a team of LGBT and allied brokers who will have special focus on the needs of LGBT clients.
Metz in particular answered a lot of questions related to the rights of ownership for married vs. partnered couples, noting that anyone considering buying a homeor getting marriedshould consult both an accountant and an attorney to know the full financial ramifications.
See www.dreamtown.com/LGBT .