Madeline Island Real Estate Blog: Tell NAR It’s Time To Rewrite Article 10 of the Code of Ethics!

Tell NAR It’s Time To Rewrite Article 10 of the Code of Ethics!

At present, ActiveRain Guidelines prohibit "slurs or the malicious use of stereotypes intended to attack or demean" a particular

  • Gender
  • Sexual orientation
  • Race
  • Religion
  • Nationality

NAR, in contrast, states "REALTORS® shall not deny equal professional services to any person for reasons of"

  • Sex (Gender)
  • Race
  • Color
  • Religion 
  • Handicap
  • Familial status
  • National origin (Nationality)

Missing from the Code of Ethics list of protected groups is Sexual OrientationThe founders of ActiveRain are to be commended for their stance on this important issue.  

In the midst of a heated exchange of comments yesterday here on ActiveRain about the treatment of individuals with differing sexual orientation, the author of a controversial post argued essentially that the Code does not mention or apply to the subject of sexual orientation.

Well then, shouldn't this "loophole" be closed?  Do you believe NAR should rewrite Article 10 of the Code of Ethics to include "sexual orientation" as a protected category?

Do some Realtors® believe that it is permissible to discriminate when a particular group is absent from the Code?  If Article 10 of the Code fails to extend protection to all individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation, a change is long overdue.  NAR should directly address this issue and leave no doubt in the minds of real estate professionals and the public.

We all know the National Association of REALTORS®is watching and reading posts on ActiveRain.  REALTOR®Magazine articles have repeatedly mentioned ActiveRain in recent issues.  So it is my hope that someone at NAR will read this and take note. 

Since ActiveRain has already taken the lead on this important matter, perhaps it's time for NAR to do likewise and take the step of including sexual orientation as a protected category in Article 10 of the Code of Ethics.

It's time for NAR to demonstrate that it is committed to providing equal protection and services to everyone.

Contact Madeline Island Realty about Madeline Island and Twin Cities Real Estate

Call us for Information on Homes & Real Estate For Sale in Bayfield Wisconsin

Eric Kodner, CRS

Real Estate Broker in Wisconsin & Minnesota

Madeline Island Realty (La Pointe. Wisconsin)

Wayzata Lakes Realty (Minneapolis & Saint Paul, MN)

Our Listings Appear on NorthstarMLS in Wisconsin & Minnesota

Phone or Text Message 612.670.2539

MadelineIsland@Gmail.com

Madeline Island Realty

 

61 commentsEric Kodner • December 05 2007 11:50AM

Comments

Great Info, keep on blogging.:)

Adam Affleck

www.atlanticrealtysolutions.com

 

 

Posted by Adam Affleck (Remax Charlottetown Realty) about 7 years ago
Is is that hard to just treat everyone with respect and courtesy?????? 
Posted by Drew Riley (Spa Realty, Inc Team Riley) about 7 years ago

Adam, thanks for commenting!

Drew -- Unfortunately it appears things are not that simple.  Yesterday there was a huge debate on AR which centered on a member post that condemned gays and lesbians.  Apparently, guidelines are a necessity.

Posted by Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 - (Madeline Island Realty) about 7 years ago
Amen!  I've been attacked on here because I suggested to an AR member that he shouldn't use the phrase "that's so gay" as a derogatory statement in his blogs.  It's not about being PC, it's about being respectful and avoiding bigotry and stereotypes.  Who in their right mind wants to be known as a shallow minded bigot?  I guess some are out there, but most folks, when they stop and think about it, don't want to have that self-imposed label.
Posted by Jason Romrell (Business Attorney and Success Advisor) about 7 years ago

Jason, your comment is much appreciated!

I have taught Fair Housing courses and have made the same statement to my classes, that the slang phrase "That's gay" is bigoted and inappropriate.  You'd be surprised to know how many use that saying and never give it a thought.

I had another agent in a class who used the term "Jewed down" to describe one party that took advantage of another in a transaction.  When I told her that is hate speech, she seemed astonished and replied "my dad said that at home all the time when we were kids!"

Posted by Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 - (Madeline Island Realty) about 7 years ago
Great advocacy!  Any tips on how to lobby NAR to make a change like this?
Posted by Mary Smartt, Smartt Moves with Mary Smartt (Lawton Associates / www.LawtonAssociates.com) about 7 years ago
Mary, your support here may make a difference.  I'd also suggest writing NAR with your opinions.
Posted by Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 - (Madeline Island Realty) about 7 years ago

Eric, I can tell you this from my perspective. I would never back a Realtor, appraiser, loan officer, mortgage company, or any business that did discriminate due to sexual orientation. Law or no law, it is not right. 

America is the land of the free and that means free to choose our sexual orientation. 

Posted by Danny Thornton, WordPress Guru (R & D Art) about 7 years ago

It would be great if we could substitute one very simple line of text in each code, rule-book, legal opinion et al: "All Human Beings are to be treated Equally", and leave it at that. It would also be great if mabe the Fair Housing Act got updated (it's been 20 years!!!).

Keep fighting this battle, and we might have a few ideas on getting the attention of the NAR...

inna

ha media group-

Posted by Inna Hardison, Wordpress for Real Estate & Design, Print HaMedia Group (ha media group) about 7 years ago

Danny -- Everyone on AR noticed that you had the courage to address the very negative, condemning post which attempted to organize a boycott of another member's post.  Congratulations again on your post yesterday and thanks for contributing here.

Article 10 of the Code does attempt to be inclusive, but it omits mention of sexual orientation.  If NAR wants to scrap Article 10 altogether and say there are NO grounds for discrimination, no group that is excluded, that would be fine.  But as long as NAR has chosen to specify certain groups and has omitted others, this needs to be addressed.

Inna -- The issue of alternative lifestyles/sexual orientation has been ignored by some.  It's time that NAR pay attention to this and take an affirmative, inclusive stance on the issue. 

Posted by Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 - (Madeline Island Realty) about 7 years ago

It's a pretty dumb business decision to discriminate against anyone - even if they are not included in a legally protected class.  Yikes!

And thanks for your comment on last night's post about my friend, Cheryl.   

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, For Your Home in the Capital (Evers & Company Real Estate, Inc.) about 7 years ago

Patricia, I hope NAR doesn't decide to "play it safe" on this issue.  Specifically indentifying and naming various protected groups is fine, but once that has been done, any excluded groups are going to be noticed.

History has shown that the only way to deal with people who discriminate is through the law.  Those who discriminate aren't going to abandon bigotry on their own.

Posted by Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 - (Madeline Island Realty) about 7 years ago

Eric - Count me in as a supporter.  I had noticed the ommission about a year ago and wondered why it still hadn't been updated.  Seems silly that same-sex couples have the legal right to marry or form unions in certain states and yet the NAR is still silent towards discrimination based upon sexual orientation.  Thanks for starting to bring attention to this important missing link in the Code of Ethics.

Posted by Michael J. O'Connor, Eastvale - 951-847-4883 (Diamond Ridge Realty) about 7 years ago

Thank you Michael!  I don't know if this has ever been discussed by the Board of the NAR, but the issue should be revisited.  NAR periodically reviews the Code and makes changes.  This is something that has been overlooked.

Posted by Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 - (Madeline Island Realty) about 7 years ago

Eric - This is a direct and simple to understand post. The corporate world has been so far ahead of the political world on this issue for the simple reason that money is the great motivator of change in corporate America. It was realized quite quickly by corporate America that the exclusion of a segment of the population that wields great financial liquidity was not a smart business move. I would like to be able to say I believe that the inclusion of the LGBT communtiy by corporate America was altruistic (and for some it may have been) but honestly it simply made good financial sense.

I believe on principle that the institutionalized discrimination of any group is more than wrong, it is antithetical to what seperates people from all other creatures. We have the ability to empathize. Whether that empathy grows from our personal history as a member of a group that was or is discriminated against, or from the humbleness we should feel when we reflect on what our ancestors endured to secure our place at the table of humankind.

It is shameful for anyone to attempt to deny anyone else their rightful place at the table. A stance such as this is much more base and animalistic than most would like to believe. I applaud your courage Eric and the courage of all those on Active Rain that felt empathy for the oppressed and reached out to defend and even to endure the blows of the oppressor.

Thank You for your post!

Posted by Rich Dansereau (Positive Real Estate Professionals) about 7 years ago

Rich, thank you for your gracious and thoughtful comments.

Since NAR is our industry trade association and is highly visible, I find it hard to understand why this change hasn't been made already.  It would be very wise for the NAR Board to revisit this issue as soon as possible.

Posted by Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 - (Madeline Island Realty) about 7 years ago
Our Hawaii State Civil Rights law prohibits discrimination in housing for sexual orientation.  I have a simple philosophy when doing business you treat everyone exactly the same.  Anything other than that and you are leaving yourself wide open for big trouble and probably belong in another line of work anyway.
Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (Island Style Realty Inc.) about 7 years ago
Randy, I'm glad to hear Hawaii has added sexual orientation to its list of protected classes.  News like this is all the more reason that NAR needs to catch up with the times and bring Article 10 up to date.
Posted by Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 - (Madeline Island Realty) about 7 years ago

Hi Eric:  I have heard or noticed a few "hints" of the post you speak of.  Would you please email me the post, or send me the link.  I guess I missed it, but I would love to read it.  I would also be very, very interested in who was doing the condemning and who was doing the defending.  I think NAR will not touch it until they feel they have no choice.  Like you implied... it's a money thing. 

If an employer needs innovators, if they need talent... they encourage all types of individuals to hire on.  To them it really makes no difference who you sleep with... as long as you can invent new computer programs in your sleep.  Thank heaven for the innovators who are open-minded to simply hire the best... regardless of their sexual orientation or their gender "presentation."  Thanks, Eric.  Great post.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) about 7 years ago

Karen Anne, the anti-gay/lesbian post that was referenced in this post was removed the day after the controversy erupted.  The author claimed he removed it voluntarily, although there is reason to believe that may have been the result of pressure by the AR folks. 

Unfortunately, NAR may prefer to follow than take the lead on this issue.  But if NAR chooses to remain silent, there is the implication that Realtors are willing to offer equal services to all except gays and lesbians, which is not a sentiment that most Realtors share.  It would take some courage on the part of NAR to address this.  We'll have to see if the NAR board has what it takes to give this proper consideration.

 

 

Posted by Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 - (Madeline Island Realty) about 7 years ago
Eric:  I really would be surprised if NAR would would take any sort of lead on an issue like this.  NAR depends on its members.  I would guess that more than half of them are of the conservative persuasion.  I would be very surprised if it happened.  Sad... it really is.
Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) about 7 years ago

Another good post, Eric. I live in Illinois and it is illegal to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation here. I have also bought and sold real estate in your home state of Wisconsin and see that sexual orientation is included on the sales contracts there as well. (That is why the constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage, or domestic partnerships in Wisconsin was so puzzling and upsetting to me.) It is about time that NAR included sexual orientation as a protected class. I wonder if that is because there is no national law banning such discrimination and NAR only adheres to legal guidelines in the code of ethics. I think that any type of discrimination should be considered unethical, regardless of a specific law.

Posted by Rich Quigley about 7 years ago
Thanks for the post.  I hadn't even acknowledged that it was missing from the NAR Code.  I'll be writing my letter today!
Posted by Gregory Maley, REALTOR, GRI, CBR, SHS, e-PRO (WaveHouse Properties, LLC) about 7 years ago
Karen Anne -- There are many gay and lesbian agents who pay dues to NAR.  Conservative or not, it would be wrong for NAR to look away from this issue, if indeed they decide to ignore it.   It would be the ultimate in hypocrisy if NAR decided to abandon Realtors' obligation to serve everyone fairly.
Posted by Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 - (Madeline Island Realty) about 7 years ago

Rich -- The "loophole" needs to be closed.  It's time for NAR to broaden the code and leave no doubt that they don't endorse discrimination against anyone.  Unless it's clearly stated, some licensees will be quick to point out that "I don't have to look after those people, because the Code doesn't specifically refer to them".

Gregory -- I'd be pleased to learn about whatever response you may receive from NAR.  Good luck!

Posted by Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 - (Madeline Island Realty) about 7 years ago

Eric, not to higjack this or anything, but do you think we could get enough responsible realtors on board to run a few public service type ads? We would design those no problem, and make them shocking enough to get NAR's attention, but it would be great to know if it would make sense to do that.
We were thinking of doing something that would draw the public's attention to the fact that sexual orientation is currently not a protected class!

Email me and i will give you more details... I think this just might work, so long as enough people did it, even if only on their blogs and sites, and, of course AR.

Posted by Inna Hardison, Wordpress for Real Estate & Design, Print HaMedia Group (ha media group) about 7 years ago

Inna -- It's a great idea!  I'd endorse anything that would get this in front of NAR and the Realtor community in general.

You have my permission to hijack anything I post..you are a great writer yourself! 

I got into an interesting discussion/debate about discrimination the other day here on AR.  I had written a post about discrimination against foreign-born people who don't speak English in public.  The commenter pointed out that it's somehow perfectly acceptable to discriminate based on language because the Civil Rights Act doesn't specifically mention it.  I'm a little astounded to hear from licensees who seem eager to point out all the various loopholes that open the door to allow "legal" discrimination.

Aren't we all supposed to be opposed to discrimination, in all forms, regardless of what the Code or Federal/State law says?  I have never thought of discrimination as an American virtue. 

Posted by Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 - (Madeline Island Realty) about 7 years ago

Good Post, Eric.  I am saddened to see that I am only the 28th response you've received on this blog. I would have thought that more Realtors would have responded in support.   Perhaps we should ask that everyone who is in agreement to an amendment of Article 10 to please just respond with an "I'm in agreement". Again, great post !! 

Happy Holidays to all of you !!

Posted by Christopher Fritts, GRI, CBR, REI, PME, RECS (Realty World Pacific Northwest) about 7 years ago
Inna:  I agree that the NAR policy should be amended to ban discrimination according to either sexual orientation or gender presentation.  We are all supposed to be opposed to all forms of discrimination.
Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) about 7 years ago

Wow, i missed that one, Eric....

Hmmm. Ok. Give us a few days, and i'l email you whatever me and my hubby can come up with (have ideas, just have to make it all make sense visually), and we'll go from there. Hopefully, it'll bring attention to this, so long as Real Estate professionals are willing to post it all over the place.
:-)
BTW: Just fyi, it really doesn't matter how many responses you got to this. Even if it were none, where there is an injustice, noble minds want to fix it, and you are one of those! None of it is ever in vain... (but you know that.)

Posted by Inna Hardison, Wordpress for Real Estate & Design, Print HaMedia Group (ha media group) about 7 years ago
Christopher, it's disturbing that some posts don't get the readership they should.  There's a tendency for members to comment on the "feel good" stuff, or read the high school posts about "she wasn't nice to me, so I removed her from our group".  Discussing social issues make some people uncomfortable.
Posted by Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 - (Madeline Island Realty) almost 7 years ago

Karen Anne -- Agreed!  Now if we can just get NAR to get out in front of this issue.

Inna -- I'll be grateful for any feedback or suggestions you may have.

Posted by Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 - (Madeline Island Realty) almost 7 years ago
Eric:  I think NAR will put off addressing this issue as long as it possibly can.  I think forcing the issue during the reign of the current administration is about as long a long shot as can be.  Hopefully change is coming.
Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 7 years ago

This is such a tough subject.

I think it is important for us to separate our personal and political opinions from our business decision.

Even if you do not support gay marriage, or if you have personal or religious concerns that impact your opinion on gay issues, you must separate yourself from them for the sake of your business.

I find myself going back and forth on the issue. On one hand Gay clients should be treated no different from any other client. This is not even up for debate.

However, I don't know if it warrants a change in the code of ethics. One could make the argument that family status covers the gay community. If you discriminate against a gay person in a relationship it would fall under this classification. If you discriminate against a gay person not in a relationship it is based on the belief the person will enter into a same sex relationship of some sort.

Of course the free market republican in me says if you don't want to work with a gay client I sure as heck will. If you are so bigoted that you will walk away from business simply because you don't like their lifestyle then I will be more than glad to take your business.

Posted by Dick Winefield (NH Real Estate Exchange) almost 7 years ago

Dick -- I appreciate your very reasonable and logical approach to the subject.

I don't understand why anyone who is a member of AR would want to publicly declare their antipathy towards gay or lesbian customers.  It is simply not good common sense. 

I do think the Code needs revision in this area.  I  have read many, many comments by agents (licensees who are supposed to know better) on AR who state that "it's alright to discriminate against that group because they're not protected under the Code".  As long as the Code provides a loophole for some to argue that they are doing nothing wrong, there is a problem.

I don't think you are necessarily lobbying on behalf of a particular lifestyle by arguing that they deserve to be treated fairly.

Posted by Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 - (Madeline Island Realty) almost 7 years ago

Well, darn it. I missed yesterday's post. Too bad you didn't include a link to it.

Posted by Russel Ray, San Diego Business & Marketing Consultant & Photographer (Russel Ray) over 4 years ago

Hey readers....

Suggest this post (AR) I know it is OLD but this is an important post as is Eric's post in May 2010.

Like this post (Facebook.) 

It's 2010 and back in 2007 Eric wrote something very important.  He told NAR  "It’s Time To Rewrite Article 10 of the Code of Ethics!"  and in 2009, 2010... they listened.

Posted by Maureen McCabe, Columbus Ohio Real Estate (HER Realtors) over 4 years ago

Thanks so much, Maureen!  I appreciate your kind comments and your passion about this important issue.

Posted by Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 - (Madeline Island Realty) over 4 years ago

Sadly, NAR often only focuses on "political" orientation and fails to recognize or even respect the lifestyles of not only its members but the general public. There inaction is clearly an acceptance of discrimination based upon sexual orientation. There is absolutely no excuse for sexual orientation to be excluded from our NAR Code of Ethics. NAR Gay, Lesbian and Transgender members should be afforded the same protection as all other protected classes in our code.

The issue is not about being for or against gay marriage. It is about discrimination and power over others. Thank you reminding me to send another letter to NAR since they must have thrown my last one in the trash.

I encourage folks to take a few minutes and contact NAR and also your local state association representatives about this issue. Perhaps together we can make a difference and bring NAR into the 21st century for ALL members. Thank you!

Posted by Emily Medvec, Realtor, Santa Fe NM |CNE CRS RSPS | 505-660-4541 (Keller Williams Santa Fe) over 4 years ago

Hi Eric!  I've just gotten up to speed on this issue, thanks to Pamela St. Peter's featured post today.  I salute you in your efforts to get this through NAR and I'm looking forward to a positive outcome in November! 

 

Posted by Debe Maxwell, Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods (www.AtHomesCharlotte.com | Savvy + Company Real Estate) over 4 years ago

Eric - I had no idea that sexual orientation wasn't in NAR's code of ethics. How outdated is that! Thanks for writing this blog, everyone is talking about it on Active Rain so I stopped by to take a look. Kudos to you!

Posted by Cynthia Larsen, Independent Broker Serving Sonoma County, CA (Safe Haven Realty) over 4 years ago

I agree with Inna #9. It makes more sense to change all laws, rules & legal briefs to read "All Human Beings are to be treated Equally" to end this debate on who is or is not a "protected class" in discrimination lawsuits. This simple statement says it all & adheres to the US Constitution that ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL and their right to be treated fairly and equally are protected by law & custom.

I served in the military to ensure that all Americans are treated fairly & equally.

Posted by George Wilson (Lincolnton, NC) over 4 years ago

Thank you Eric!

Posted by Lee & Pamela St. Peter, Making Connections to Success in Real Estate (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices YSU Realty: (919) 645-2522) over 4 years ago

OK Eric, you know I like to stir the pot and present the other side.... I don't think people should discriminate against anyone, but many times anti discrimination laws can be mis-used. The reason I would not include things like sexual orientation or gender identity is because how will they be used. Where does it stop, how about the buyer who wants to take all your time and never buys anything. Do they have the right to make you work with them? How about the person who is a jerk that you decide you can't stand? The real problem with the discrimination laws is the definition of discrimination. I think people in general hang around and do business with people they want to. To force oil and water together is not going to work.

I think people who are offended by homosexuals have the right to be as much as the homosexuals might be offended by someone who offends them. When this country was founded people grouped together in communities and states that had laws that they liked. It worked. Now everyone is expected to.. and even bound by law to accept others. Though I think it is good to have tolerance, I also feel Americans should have the freedom to chose what they like and don't like and who they will and won't work with. I also tend to think that a person's sexual preference, like any other preference should not be a protected class, as a matter of fact I don't want to know anyone's sexual preferences to be honest. It is an issue that should not be an issue.

People have as much a right on moral issues, to agree or disagree and you can't take rights from one person to call it rights for another, there has to be a balance.

Posted by Ross Quintana, Real E Smarter Real Estate Coach - 509-362-1966 (Real E Smarter) over 4 years ago

Ross,

The moment a consumer is refused real estate services because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, it becomes a problem.  And such incidents have already been documented.  In fact, HUD is currently engaged in a study to document numerous such instances around the United States.

Read Article 10 of the Realtor Code of Ethics.  It is clear that the intent of the Code is to ensure that real estate services are available to all.  NAR General Counsel Laurie Janik affirmed this opinion in a statement to the NAR Board in May of this year.  The same intent is voiced in Federal Fair Housing law.

This is not about what you like.  It's about being licensed to practice in a profession which, like it or not, insists that you do not discriminate in the process of providing real estate services to the consumer.

I have taught Fair Housing courses and I recall once telling an agent who ranted to me about wanting to tell customers what she thinks about people of a particular ethnic group, "if you want permission from NAR to violate the Code and you expect to be able to pick and choose who you will assist based upon their race or ethnicity, you're in the wrong profession".

 

Posted by Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 - (Madeline Island Realty) over 4 years ago

I don't have a problem with the laws, but at what point do we draw the line. Realtors choose who they will and won't spend time with all the time and it may be the person is annoying, rude, unqualified, has ridiculous expectations, and the list goes on. These things are all offensive in one way or another to someone. How big is this list going to get. Does the person who is looking for a dream home on a small budget have the right to force an agent to drive them around?

My point is that for some people Homosexuality is offensive, and don't they have the right to choose not to work with someone they don't feel comfortable with? How about a woman who doesn't feel comfortable with some men, I think in a service business people should be allowed to chose who they work with with. If it is a government job I would say no problem, they serve everyone, but private business should not be as restricted in my opinion. I know there are many sides to this question and it is debated, but I think that more regulation is not needed.

Posted by Ross Quintana, Real E Smarter Real Estate Coach - 509-362-1966 (Real E Smarter) over 4 years ago

Some people are going to get this.  Others are just plain never going to get it.  You've expressed your opinion, Ross, and I have responded with my own. 

The idea of debating this on ActiveRain, in the Realtor community, is pretty futile.  NAR has demonstrated a long-standing commitment to equality and will continue to do so, like it or not.  The NAR Board recently approved the amendment which adds LGBT protections to Article Ten of the COE.  That amendment was unanimously approved by the NAR Equal Opportunity Committee.  It was unanimously approved by the NAR Professional Standards Committee.  It overwhelmingly passed when brought before the NAR Board.  It has the support of NAR leadership all the way up the line.     

When an individual chooses to become a Realtor, they give up the right to pass judgment on consumers.  Away from work, that Realtor can nurture all the grudges they want.  At home, they can be as homophobic and bigoted as they choose, if that's what trips their trigger.  Some folks apparently find that they only way they can validate themselves is to claim moral superiority over others.  But when they put the Realtor hat on, they are bound to adhere to the Realtor Code of Ethics. 

For example, I'm offended by small-minded people who want to pass judgement on others, but once in awhile I find myself serving them as a real estate professional.

More regulation is needed, when it is found that there is discrimination and denial of equal services.  No one is going to get a free pass to discriminate against or maltreat real estate consumers.  Both HUD and NAR have made that clear.

Why should anyone have to fear that they will be perceived as "offensive" when they walk into a real estate office, Ross?  If we allow service businesses a pass on discrimination, where do you draw the line?  Do we exempt them from other federal and state laws?  Is child labor acceptable if it's a practice chosen by a service business?  How about giving service businesses a pass on OSHA regulations?  Where do YOU draw the line?

Posted by Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 - (Madeline Island Realty) over 4 years ago

Steve--Didn't your parents ever teach you that if you don't have anything nice to say, just don't say anything at all? 

I think this would have been an opportune time just to hit that 'home' button and read another blog instead of leaving such a rude comment.

 

Posted by Debe Maxwell, Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods (www.AtHomesCharlotte.com | Savvy + Company Real Estate) over 4 years ago

Steve Frenkel (if that is your real name),

Your comment signature doesn't indicate whether you are a real estate licensee or not.  If you have the courage to make such an ignorant statement, why not go a step further and disclose your relationship to our industry, if any?  And if you have no involvement in our industry, you should go learn something about how Realtors govern the practice of real estate.

The joke is on you, Steve.  You've come to the game pretty late.  The National Association of Realtors have already endorsed the proposed Article 10 amendment, all the way up the line, from the unanimous vote by our Equal Opportunity - Cultural Diversity committee to the ratfication vote by the NAR Professional Standards Committee and the NAR Board approval.

Call NAR General Legal Counsel Laurie Janik and ask her if this is a "joke".  Don't worry, she'll reply to your question in language that even you will probably be able to understand.  Realtors are supposed to serve the public.  If you're unfamiliar with our Code of Ethics, go read it.

While you're asking others to "go back to sleep", you might try waking up to the reality that a vast majority of real estate professionals who are not gay or lesbian happen to support this amendment.  Just as there are white people who support equal housing rights for people who are African-American, Asian American or Native American.  The ignorant assumption that everyone who backs this amendment is gay speaks for itself.

I don't leave anonymous comments like yours on my blog.  But I'll leave it here just long enough to let people know that you came here to heckle and call names.  The folks at HUD read these blogs too.

Posted by Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 - (Madeline Island Realty) over 4 years ago

I would think ActiveRain would want to collect the IP info  for the comment prior to it being deleted, wouldn't you?  I don't know if they block people like this or not but I used the Report A Concern button. 

Posted by Maureen McCabe, Columbus Ohio Real Estate (HER Realtors) over 4 years ago

Maureen, I agree with you I sure would like to know who this Steve Frankel is & what type of business he is in. To think that in this great nation (perfect we're not but better than others) we still have people who feel it's alright to deny equal treatment to all in business dealings. As private citizens our constitution gives us the right to socialize with who ever we feel agrees with our views. That said when a business solicits the general public to use it's services then it has to, IMHO, give equal treatment to all regardless of our personal beliefs otherwise find a business that doesn't deal with the general public so you don't have to deal with those that you find are offensive to your beliefs. See my comment in #42 to understand where I'm coming from and why I feel Steve's comment should be offensive to anyone who believes in equal treatment for all US citizens.

For those that haven't seen Steve's offensive rant (for lack of a better word) here it is:  Comment by Steve Frenkel: Eric is this a complete joke? All you of you gay and lesbian whiners should go back to sleep! Stop being so gay. Why can't you people act like everyone else?

From the above comment you can see that he believes only a select few deserve equal treatment and makes you wonder who else does he feel should not deserve to be treated equally & fairly.

That's enough of my ranting tonight. An outstanding article Eric.

Posted by George Wilson (Lincolnton, NC) over 4 years ago

Debe - Thank you for your support. It appears Steve's comment is no longer here, but I believe everyone got the message.

Posted by Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 - (Madeline Island Realty) over 4 years ago

Maureen, thank you. I always make and keep a screenshot of the occasional comments from hecklers and people violating the AR Guidelines.  Keeping a record of IP addresses is a good idea!

George, I appreciate the compliment.  This blog post dates back to December of 2007, but it still seems to be a subject of discussion, especially since the NAR Board voted in favor of our proposal to Amend Article 10 of the Code of Ethics.

In the past couple years since I wrote this, I've received a few "hate mail" messages in addition to all the positive ones above.  And I've also received a couple of voicemails that were pretty antagonistic.  It goes with the territory.  On my May 23, 2010 post, "Closing the Sexual Orientation Loophole - NAR Board Approves Proposal to Amend Article Ten of the Code of Ethics",  there were comments by a couple of hecklers who apparently want to argue Fair Housing law with me.  One fellow whined about the COE amendment and said he'll quit real estate if it passes the NAR Delegate vote this November.  Another characterized the amendment as "political correctness".  And a third wanted to argue that he should have a free pass to selectively refuse service to customers in his real estate practice, even if they happen to be protected under Fair Housing law.

I find that most of these rants are hit-and-run incidents.  They stop by to fling mud and call names, then they slink off and pull their offensive comments as soon as someone objects. 

Posted by Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 - (Madeline Island Realty) over 4 years ago

Sometimes they've found it is a mean, dumb, hateful member who signs out to leave a comment from what I understand....  Wasn't it in WI where the agent was harassing an immigrant woman RE agent and it ended up in court... criminal I believe not civil.  He was not found guilty of a hate crime... but he was charged with one.  Bob Stewart wrote about it.  I know she was a member.  I  can not remember if he was a member or not.  I want to say that was in Appleton or Green Bay, in 2008? or 2009?  

That's what the Report A Concern link  is really for IMHO.  It works on spam control somewhat.

 

Posted by Maureen McCabe, Columbus Ohio Real Estate (HER Realtors) over 4 years ago

Maureen, it's a bit like the 2010 version of burning a cross on your lawn or spray-painting a swastika on your house. These folks let you know, in no uncertain terms, that they don't like you or your opinions.

Posted by Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 - (Madeline Island Realty) over 4 years ago

Eric your welcome. It's a pet-peeve of mine to respond to these types of comments when I come across them.

I'm not only a Navy Vet but a USN brat too and my family have fought in wars since 1600's (some fought with the Blue; others the Gray). I have been fortunate to come across all types of races and what I have found is that race or orientation doesn't matter but the character of an individual does. I have come across people even before I was a Realtor who wanted a certain area based on race & orientation and I told them I can help them sale &/or find their RE as long as they don't restrict me to ethnicity & orientation but if that isn't possible then I suggest they find another agent. A lot moved on, oh well their bag. LOL.

OH, for those that may read this and think I'm homosexual and it's the reason for my comments; I'm a happy heterosexual with several good friends from all types of religion, race, orientation & political persuasion. So to those who wish to make such snide remarks; put it were the sun rarely shines and use a lot of gel.

Eric, Again thanks for fighting the good fight.

Posted by George Wilson (Lincolnton, NC) over 4 years ago

Kudos to you, George--you said it so much better than I with my 'parent speech!' 

And Eric, I think you're correct--Steve Frenkel has slithered away to make his cowardly remarks on some other unsuspecting member's blog.  Good riddance!

Posted by Debe Maxwell, Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods (www.AtHomesCharlotte.com | Savvy + Company Real Estate) over 4 years ago

George,

Take a look at one of my more recent posts and you will get an idea of the kind of harassment I have experienced as a result of my involvement in this issue.

"Closing the Sexual Orientation Loophole - NAR Board Approves Proposal to Amend Article Ten of the Code of Ethics",

I greatly appreciate your support and your good comments!

Posted by Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 - (Madeline Island Realty) over 4 years ago

Great post Eric. It is good to see that it is still getting attention, mostly positive. I think the recent article in Realtor Magazine caused a resurgence of interest in this important topic. I don't see how anyone in real estate could even consider discriminating on any basis, but it is important that NAR is finally adding sexual orientation to the non-discrimination policy. We have you to thank for this.

Posted by Rich Quigley over 4 years ago

Rich, thanks for your kind words.  I was surprised to see this post on ActiveRain get all the attention it has.  It has been a huge privilege to be involved to the effort to amend Article Ten of the Code.  And of course there were many, many people involved in the process, including the NAR Equal Opportunity - Cultural Diversity Committee, the NAR Professional Standards Committee, the NAR Board, the Wisconsin Realtors Association Equal Opportunity in Housing Committee, the WRA Board and the National Association of Gay & Lesbian Real Estate Professionals.  Nothing of this magnitude gets accomplished without the involvement of a great many dedicated individuals. 

Posted by Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 - (Madeline Island Realty) over 4 years ago

It's a shame that NAR still hasn't decided to take this issue up as even our military has decided to recognize fair treatment of all men and women regardless of sexual orientation.

Posted by Michael J. O'Connor, Eastvale - 951-847-4883 (Diamond Ridge Realty) about 3 years ago

This blog does not allow anonymous comments