Keller Williams is the latest company to join in support of the Equality Act, a bill in Congress that would make it illegal nationwide for industries, including real estate, and the government, to discriminate against people based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.
“In celebration and honor of LGBTQ Pride Month, Keller Williams proudly announces our support for the Equality Act. Members of the KW Rainbow Network were the first to know about this,” Darryl Frost, a spokesperson for Keller Williams told Inman. “We’re happy to add our support to the increasing momentum needed to ensure this Act becomes law.”
Keller Williams has officially joined the Human Rights Commission’s growing coalition of business supporting the act.
Earlier this week, Compass, Redfin and eXp Realty told Inman they also supported the bill, joining Realogy, RE/MAX, HSF Affiliates, Zillow and the National Association of Realtors.
The Equality Act passed in the Democrat-led House of Representatives in May but is unlikely to pass in the Republican-controlled Senate. President Donald Trump, who would need to sign any such bill passed by the full Congress for it become law, has already voiced opposition to the legislation as currently written.
The Fair Housing Act, passed into law in 1968 and now a bedrock of the real estate industry, makes it illegal to discriminate based on race, color, religion, sex, familial status or national origin in the renting or selling of housing and related services.
It does not, however, specifically mention sexual orientation or gender identity as protected categories.
In the absence of a uniform specific federal law banning discrimination against such persons in housing and other services, 20 states in the U.S. have passed their own laws banning housing discrimination based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity.
In celebration of Pride Month, the annual June celebration that commemorates the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots and the fight for LGBTQ rights and recognition in America, Keller Williams will be making alterations to corporate logo across its social channels, joining others.
Keller Williams Rainbow Network, an independent collective of Keller Williams LGBTQ associates, staff and leaders, was the first to hear of the company’s support in a letter from CEO Gary Keller and President Josh Team. The group was organized in February 2004.
Read Keller and Team’s full letter to the Keller Williams Rainbow Network below:
As an integral part of the Keller Williams family and an active member of the KW Rainbow Network, we owe you our sincere gratitude. Thank you for your contribution toward cementing equality and fairness as core pillars of our company. Thank you for your tireless efforts to create a world of acceptance. Thank you for representing the incredible diversity of our company and creating a community of support and inspiration. We, personally, are inspired by the important work you have done for so many and have something very special to announce. And, we want you to be the first to know.
As you know, the Equality Act (H.R. 5) is aimed at amending civil rights laws, including the Fair Housing Act, to include sexual orientation and gender identity as protected characteristics against discrimination in the sale, rental, or finance of housing. We understand the responsibility that comes with representing the largest real estate sales force in the United States. Our support is integral toward ensuring this Act becomes law. So, in celebration and honor of LGBTQ Pride Month and the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, Keller Williams will proudly announce our full, public support for the Equality Act (H.R. 5).
In partnership with you, Keller Williams remains committed to supporting our many communities and promoting inclusion, just as we have in the past. As our diversity grows, we’ll align our efforts with those leading the way. Professional real estate organizations, like the National Association of Gay & Lesbian Real Estate Professionals (NAGLREP), advocate for strong housing and discrimination laws for the LGBTQ community. NAGLREP has championed the Equality Act, and due to their continued dedication, the dream of homeownership remains alive and well for all Americans.
At Keller Williams, we stand behind why we do what we do: to build careers worth having, businesses worth owning, lives worth living, experiences worth giving … and legacies worth leaving – big and small, for one and all.
Thank you for being in business with us and for all you do each day. You, the KW Rainbow Network, make us better.
Gary Keller and Josh Team
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