Gender identity is now included among the fair housing protections contained in the Realtor code of ethics. The National Association of Realtors’ board of directors and delegate body voted Monday to amend the code to prohibit Realtor discrimination against consumers or potential employees on the basis of gender identity.
The move follows the addition of sexual orientation to the code in 2011 and puts the trade group two steps ahead of the federal Fair Housing Act, which does not forbid housing discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
“As we celebrate 100 years of the Realtor code of ethics, this decision is a fitting example of the code as a living, dynamic set of principles that define the professionalism that Realtors bring to the real estate transaction,” said incoming 2014 NAR President Steve Brown in a statement.
“I am proud to assume the presidency of an organization that provides such leadership in the area of professionalism and ethics.”
Brown is the association’s first openly gay president.
Article 10 of the NAR Code of Ethics now reads:
“Realtors shall not deny equal professional services to any person for reasons of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity. Realtors 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, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity.
“Realtors, 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, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity.”