November 04, 2019

GLVR Presents Housing Equality Proclamation to Bradbury-Sullivan Center



At the request of the Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center and Pennsylvania Youth Congress, the Greater Lehigh Valley REALTORS® (GLVR) readily agreed to join a coalition of organizations and associations in the promotion of anti-discriminatory practices in housing.

A newly-created Non-discriminatory Practices Declaration uses language from the REALTORS® Code of Ethics, as well as verbiage from a LGBT-friendly business pledge created by the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce.

On November 1, 2019, GLVR staff and leadership went to Bradbury-Sullivan in Allentown to present the new association-wide resolution that endorses the Pennsylvania Fairness Act, The Equality Act, and other state, federal, and municipal proposals that add sexual orientation and gender identity to fair housing protections.

The resolution reads:
 
RESOLUTION OF THE GREATER LEHIGH VALLEY REALTORS® SUPPORTING THE EXPANSION OF NON-DISCRIMINATION PROTECTIONS TO INCLUDE PROTECTION FOR SEXUAL ORIENTATION AND GENDER IDENTITY OR EXPRESSION


WHEREAS, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (“LGBT”) persons historically have been and continue to be discriminated against in employment, housing, and public accommodations;
 
WHEREAS, over 50 Pennsylvania municipalities and 20 states have enacted civil rights laws including protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression;
 
WHEREAS, the GREATER LEHIGH VALLEY REALTORS® has a long-standing history of support for equal treatment under the law for all citizens of the Commonwealth; and, specifically, of support for equal rights for LGBT persons;
 
WHEREAS, existing Pennsylvania law provides basic legal protections against discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, age, national origin, handicap or disability, education and the use of a guide dog, but not “sexual orientation” or “gender identity or expression”;
 
WHEREAS, there is no federal civil rights act that presently includes protections from discrimination on the basis of “sexual orientation” or “gender identity or expression”;
 
WHEREAS, legislation to amend the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act of 1955 to include sexual orientation and gender identity or expression as protected classes has stalled for over 15 years in the General Assembly, regardless of significant bipartisan backing and overwhelming public support;
 
WHEREAS, several bills introduced in the legislature would amend the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act of 1955 to include "sexual orientation" and "gender identity or expression" as protected classes;
 
WHEREAS, REALTORS® believe that fair housing is a right; 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, as they are protected classes;
 
WHEREAS, The National Association of REALTORS® Code of Ethics prohibits discrimination in housing based on sexual orientation and gender identity;
 
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the GREATER LEHIGH VALLEY REALTORS® supports and encourages enactment of an amendment to the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act of 1955 to include “sexual orientation” and “gender identity or expression” as prohibited basis for discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations;
 
AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the GREATER LEHIGH VALLEY REALTORS® supports federal legislation that includes “sexual orientation” and “gender identity or expression” as prohibited basis for discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations, either now as The Equality Act, or otherwise;
 
AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the GREATER LEHIGH VALLEY REALTORS® supports municipal ordinances that include “sexual orientation” and “gender identity or expression” as prohibited basis for discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations.