I have to commend NAR for giving publicity to a much "unprotected class" that exists among us:
The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®' Board of Directors, which met on Saturday at the tail end of the Midyear Meetings & Trade Expo in Washington, D.C., approved a rule that bans REALTORS® from denying equal professional services to a customer on the basis of sexual orientation.
The board amended Article 10 of the Code of Ethics, which addresses "duties to the public." That part of the Code already prohibits REALTORS® from discriminating against customers on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin. Standard of Practice 10-3 was also amended to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in any advertisements for selling or renting property.
The change, met with applause, was passed unanimously by the Professional Standards Committee earlier in the week. The measure will now go before the NAR Delegate Body for approval at NAR's annual conference in November.
What is so disappointing (and heartbreaking if I can use that word in a professional setting) to me is that while deliberate denial of service is prohibited by our ethical code, unfortunately making a client feel uncomfortable isn't.
I had the pleasure of serving the most wonderful couple recently, and learned over time that they had been through a number of agents because the agent couldn't accept or didn't agree with their lifestyle. Needless to say I was all too happy to invest in our relationship, to help guide their decision making every step of the way so they could be in a place that increased the quality of their lives.
It is a privledge and not a right to have the opportunity to serve a client, and especially one who treats their real estate professional as a partner and not a salesperson.
I can only hope over time our society gets on board in realizing that we are greater than ourselves, and diversity is something to be cherished, that enriches the soul.