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Old 10-26-2010, 10:41 AM   #16
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this actually makes more sense after deep posted the law... i suppose if somebody printed an ad that said "looking for roommate, no blacks please" it would be easier to understand why it could be seen as discriminatory... and why the confusing circle of logic that was the "you can practice this but you can't say you're practicing it" line actually makes some sense, sorta.
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Old 10-26-2010, 10:59 AM   #17
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this actually makes more sense after deep posted the law... i suppose if somebody printed an ad that said "looking for roommate, no blacks please" it would be easier to understand why it could be seen as discriminatory... and why the confusing circle of logic that was the "you can practice this but you can't say you're practicing it" line actually makes some sense, sorta.
Yeah I agree that it does make a little more sense, I guess the thing that bothers me is that it was advertised in a certain community. Those in a Christian church are more than likely Christians or looking to be Christians. I can see the issue if it was advertised in a local newspaper. If you posted a similar sign in an all girls school and said "female roommate wanted" would it fall under the same inestigation?
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Old 10-26-2010, 11:24 AM   #18
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To me the issue seems to be where the ad was posted?

I live in Grand Rapids and I work for a private Christian college, so I see ads for people seeking "Christian" roommates all the time. While you or I may not agree or see why someone would care, to a lot of people they only want a "Christian" roommate and assume they are held to a higher standard. You see these kinds of ads all over on our online forum (like a Craigslist just for the college community) and also on various boards across campus. Does hanging the ad in a church make it "public"? I'm assuming people can post whatever ads they want on our forum and on the various message boards around school because we are a private school?

I've used the same boards (both online and actual boards that hang in various places) to find roommates in the past and I've always had set criteria (females, no smoking, pet friendly, etc...), though I've never specified or cared about religion.
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Old 10-26-2010, 11:30 AM   #19
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I find it interesting that she put the ^Christian part in after she wrote the ad, that's what it looks like to me. If you actually wrote that in as some sort of afterthought then how much did you really intend to discriminate? If Christian was your top priority, to exclude any and all others, why would it be the ^ (could have been <> but that's already taken)? Intent doesn't matter I guess. I would guess that maybe the person who reported it was a lawyer, or someone who just looks for things.

I think when you start saying "walking distance" is discrimination you've taken the intent of the law way too far. I hardly think that people who use that phrase are intentionally callously insensitive to handicapped people. Or intending to discriminate.
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Old 10-26-2010, 05:00 PM   #20
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Ridiculous....she can live with whoever she wants. If someone wanted a Norwegian roommate, I'd want to know upfront so I didn't waste my time and get my hopes up, since I'm not Norwegian.
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Old 10-26-2010, 06:30 PM   #21
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I would distinguish between something freely chosen such as religion and traits like skin colour. I find this complaint absurd.
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Old 10-26-2010, 06:53 PM   #22
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Before 'Fair Housing Laws' were passed some properties had 'deed restrictions' prohibiting the sale or renting of the property to members of the Jewish religion.



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Exclusionary covenants
In the 1920s and 1930s, covenants that restricted the sale or occupation of real property on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion or social class were common in the United States, where the primary intent was to keep "white" neighbourhoods "white". Such covenants (also known as racial covenants or racial restrictive covenants) were employed by many real estate developers to "protect" entire subdivisions. The purpose of an exclusionary covenant was to prohibit a buyer of property from reselling, leasing or transferring the property to members of a given race, ethnic origin and/ or religion as specified in the title deed. Some covenants, such as those tied to properties in Forest Hills Gardens, New York, also sought to exclude working class people however this type of social segregation was more commonly achieved through the use of high property prices, minimum cost requirements and application reference checks.[8] In practice, exclusionary covenants were most typically concerned with keeping out African-Americans, however restrictions against Asian-Americans, Jews and Catholics were not uncommon. For example, the Lake Shore Club District in Pennsylvania, sought to exclude anyone of Negro, Mongolian, Hungarian, Mexican, Greek, Armenian, Austrian, Italian, Russian, Polish, Slavish or Roumanian birth.[9] Cities known for their widespread use of racial covenants include Chicago, Baltimore, Detroit and Los Angeles.
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Old 10-27-2010, 02:53 AM   #23
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btw,
Once a complaint came in to a firm I was working at because we advertised a property as being 'walking distance' to the beach.
Apparently we were discriminating against wheel chair users.

All future ads read '4 houses to beach' or 'two blocks' to beach.
Oh, geez. That's just crazy.

Yeah, I'm with the majority of others in this thread, many excellent points made here. She's the one who'll have to live with the person, I guess that's for her and any prospective roommate to hash out. And if somebody isn't planning on living there, I don't exactly get why they would get offended. That should only be a concern to those who are looking to live in that area.

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Old 11-08-2010, 08:44 AM   #24
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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (RNS) A Michigan woman did not violate fair housing law when she posted a flier at her church seeking a "Christian roommate," federal officials have ruled.

The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of religion. But officials from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Michigan Department of Civil Rights saw more than one constitutional issue.

"When it comes to a federal law, the individual's constitutional rights trump all," HUD spokeswoman Laura Feldman said. "That's the highest power."

The case started this summer when someone saw the ad at a local church and anonymously filed a complaint with the Fair Housing Center of West Michigan. That was sent to the Michigan Department of Civil Rights, which handles investigations of fair housing complaints for HUD.

Maurice McGough, deputy regional director for fair housing and equal opportunity in HUD's Chicago office, said they were concerned about the individual's right to freedom of expression, freedom of association and freedom of intimate association, among other issues.

The fact that it was a roommate situation and that the woman posted her ad in a church -- as opposed to a general circulation newspaper, for example -- came into play, HUD officials said.

"We looked at those general protections and, without trying to draw too fine of a distinction between them, we erred on the side of the Constitution," McGough said. "This is the federal government. We have to be (careful) about how we enforce our authority."

Nancy L. Haynes, executive director of the Fair Housing Center of West Michigan, said HUD's determination was based on this specific case.

"It's unique and specific to this case," Haynes said. "It's not that there is some new exception to the law."

The woman, who has not been identified, was represented by the Alliance Defense Fund, a Christian legal group in Scottsdale, Ariz., which sent a letter to the Michigan Department of Civil Rights asking for dismissal.
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Old 11-08-2010, 08:46 AM   #25
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Old 11-08-2010, 03:54 PM   #26
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This is just one more example of the fact that there are too many lawyers in the world.
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Old 11-08-2010, 04:05 PM   #27
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This is just one more example of the fact that there are too many lawyers in the world.
YouTube - Can you imagine a world without lawyers?
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