The National Association of Realtors (NAR), voted on Monday, November 11, to add protections for transgender individuals to its fair housing protections.
The decision comes after years of effort on the part of the National Association of Gay and Lesbian Real Estate Professionals (NAGLREP), who successfully worked towards getting sexual orientation added to the list of protections back in 2011.
Jeff Berger, founder of the NAGLREP in 2007, said he was proud that now “the LGBT community can be confident and comfortable that they will be treated fairly by a realtor.”
The vote, which took place at the last meeting of the annual NAR Conference and Expo, was unanimous, though Berger says that this was due to the many stages the language adding gender identity went through before being brought to the board.
The NAGLREP hosted speakers at the NAR midyear meeting to talk about housing and workplace discrimination faced by the transgender community, and presented the language to various committees within NAR for approval. By the time it reached the board, everyone was familiar with transgender issues and ready to take a vote.
Thanks to their work, transgender persons are now protected under the code of ethics as both customers and employees in real estate.
The new Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice will read:
“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.”
The NAGLREP is a nationwide organization with six hundred members and thirty local chapters that has been working on adding sexual orientation and gender identity to NAR’s code of ethics since 2008. Their work has been nationally recognized, and they were invited to the White House in June to celebrate Gay Pride.