A local Dayton REALTOR moves into the national spotlight this week. The incoming 2014 National Association of Realtors (NAR) President, Steve Brown, is a Daytonian and President of Irongate, Inc. He is also the first openly gay NAR President, so it seems appropriate that Steve should be moving into his new role now, as on November 11, 2013, the NAR Board of Directors voted to amend the Code of Ethics to include gender identity among its fair housing protections.
“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,” Brown said. “I am proud to assume the presidency of an organization that provides such leadership in the area of professionalism and ethics.”
Article 10 of the NAR Code of Ethics now reads as follows:
“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.”
Sexual orientation had been added to the Code of Ethics in 2011. This means REALTORS cannot treat you any differently than they would treat any other person contracting for their services. I still hear stories of REALTORS giving LBGT couples the cold shoulder or making inappropriate comments about same sex couples. This would be against our Code of Ethics and you are under no obligation to continue using the services of a REALTOR who makes you uncomfortable. If this, or any other type of discrimination happens to you, complain to the agent’s broker and if you cannot come to a resolution, you can file a complaint with the Dayton Area Board of Realtors.
Congratulations to Mr. Brown and as a fellow Daytonian, I say “Represent!”