Unveiling Discrimination in Real Estate: The LGBTQ+ Perspective

Article Courtesy of Ris Media

I love working in real estate! I love the people in it! And, as we celebrate Pride Month, even after the recent attacks on the LGBTQ+ community on NAR’s Facebook and Instagram posts, I can honestly say your outpouring of support for me and the LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance is amazing.

But there is a but. The homebuying process, often viewed as a complex process for everyone, is increasingly more difficult for LGBTQ+ homebuyers. The LGBTQ+ community still faces discrimination that we can’t sweep under the rug. It’s real! And unfortunately, it comes from within the ranks of real estate professionals. It hurts LGBTQ+ real estate professionals and consumers.

The National Fair Housing Alliance, in its 2023 Fair Housing Trends Report, shared that the number of housing discrimination complaints was the highest since they’ve been tracking 25 years ago. There were 31,216 complaints, most of which (53.7%) were based on disability, followed by race (19.0%), and then 2,309 (7.0%) were based on sex, including sexual orientation or gender identity. The Center for American Progress shared that 29% of LGBTQ+ people reported experiencing some kind of housing discrimination or harassment in a housing setting this past year.

The ACLU is currently tracking 515 anti-LGBTQ+ bills, many of which are having a dramatic impact on the psyche of the LGBTQ+ community. HRC reports that 79.1% of LGBTQ+ people report that real or potential bans on gender-affirming care is making them feel less safe, while 80.5% believe these bills will worsen discrimination and stigma against the community. Additionally, 42.9% think it will negatively impact physical and mental health. We are facing an alarming rate of discrimination from all angles, making the homebuying process much more stressful for potential LGBTQ+ homebuyers.

Many real estate professionals I speak to are shocked to learn that Federal law in America does not protect LGBTQ+ people from housing discrimination. Gender identity and sexual orientation were not protected classes under the 1968 Fair Housing Act. If it wasn’t for an Executive Order signed by President Biden categorizing orientation and identity under the existing protected class of “sex”, then LGBTQ+ people would have almost no option to fight real discrimination at all. To make matters worse, more than half of the states in America also do not provide any State-level protections. In fact, only 21 states provide such protection.

The LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance, through our annual member survey, has gained insight into discrimination and its impact in real estate for the last three years. Our 2024 report showed that 27.1% of LGBTQ+ Alliance members believe discrimination against LGBTQ+ potential homebuyers has increased over the last three years. This is up from 21.0% a year ago and 17.9% in 2022. Even more concerning, only 9.1% believe discrimination decreased from the previous year.

Over the past few years, our reports have revealed where discrimination is happening and how our members feel about overall discrimination within the real estate industry. In 2022, 36.9% of respondents identified real estate professionals as the primary source of discrimination, but this decreased to 33.2% in the latest survey. Instead, 38.9% now point to the forms used in real estate transactions as the main culprit.

Despite some improvement, fewer members feel the industry is less discriminatory now (36.6%) compared to 2022 (38.8%). Additionally, 19.7% of LGBTQ+ members and 16.7% of straight ally members feel the industry is more discriminatory.

This is one of the reasons why we have been horrified – yet not surprised – at the hundreds of discriminatory comments to NARs since removed and benign “We Support Pride Month” post on their Instagram and Facebook pages. Here are some of the “tamer” examples:

  • This is so Unfortunate! WHY does every business feel the need to “BOW THE KNEE” to the almighty LGBTQIAAAA+++++ Group that is CONSTANTLY updating their group! JUST STOP IT ALREADY!
  • I feel offended because you don’t celebrate straight pride. It’s discriminatory.
  • Yay let’s all share what we like in the bedroom and what’s in our pants because that has absolutely everything to do with real estate right?!
  • Why are you promoting this? Stop it.
  • Nothing to be proud of at all.
  • NAR is not for Realtors. They dare to have posting like this. They are corrupted😢
  • When will @nardotrealtor promote Christian ✝️ month? Let’s get out of the “woke” agenda and focus on real estate.
  • For the sake of inclusivity, can we also please get a straight pride month dedicated to us!? I’ll be waiting for a response.
  • Boycott NAR! I’m sick of paying excessive dues to an alliance that doesn’t support my views. I’ve had it with woke agenda.
  • There is a grassroots movement that has declared June to be God, faith and family month. Pride goes before a fall.
  • Keep it about real estate and real holidays plz! We dont all support this.
  • Come on! Really? 🤦🏽‍♀️Bowing down to this crap too 🤢 sickening
  • The only rainbow I observe is the one GOD gave to this earth.
  • This pretty much sums up the entire NAR experience. Unable to answer any questions about how we are supposed to be paid if there’s no commissions in the MLS. Bet yet has plenty of time to promote the demonic, kink homosexuality, perversion agenda.

If you are saddened to read these, please take a moment to sign the pledge at StopHateinRealEstate.org. And, once you sign it, take another moment to encourage others to do the same.

Clearly, we have a lot of work to do to educate, inform, and rid our industry of unconscious bias and blatant discrimination towards LGBTQ+ professionals and consumers.

We’ve got to do better! We CAN do better!

Leave a Reply

Custom Awards and Recognition

LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance Logo

Organized by your local LGBTQ+ leaders