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The National Association of Gay and Lesbian Real Estate Professionals (NAGLREP) is urging the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) to publicly support the bipartisan Equality Act (H.R. 2882/S. 1006), which would amend civil rights law—including the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Fair Housing Act—to explicitly include sexual orientation and gender identity. NAGLREP Founder Jeff Berger sent a letter to NAR leadership, as well as NAGLREP’s corporate partners. NAGLREP is also urging REALTORS® to contact their Congressperson and Senators to support.

“NAGLREP and NAR have enjoyed a great working relationship over the years, including our work back in 2010 which amended NAR’s Code of Ethics to prohibit members from discriminating based on sexual orientation and gender identity,” says Berger. “NAR has been way out in front of the federal government and 28 states, which offer no protection. We must continue to do more. Discrimination in the workplace, education, credit, housing and elsewhere has a lifelong effect on LGBT’s careers and earning potential, along with the desire and ability to afford a home.”

The Equality Act was introduced in May 2017 by Congressman David Cicilline (D-R.I.) and Senators Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.). The bill was discussed at NAGLREP’s second annual LGBT Housing Policy Summit, held recently in Washington, D.C.

“NAGLREP has taken a leading role in making certain the real estate industry understands the implications of discrimination,” said Roddy Flynn, executive director of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus. “The Equality Act is a sweeping bill that would provide the LGBT community with the protections all people should enjoy. This year especially, with the backdrop of the 50th commemoration of the Fair Housing Act, we need to continue to bring awareness to the importance of protecting LGBT rights.”

“GLADD, AARP and our own LGBT Real Estate Report have shown that discrimination is on the rise,” says John Graff, chair of NAGLREP’s Policy Committee. “Housing is such a critical part of our lives and the American economy. Our industry greatly benefits from the nearly $1 trillion in LGBT buying power and we believe the real estate industry has the clout to enact change. There is no need to have any barriers for homeownership.”

NAGLREP has approximately 2,000 members, and its corporate partners include Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Housing Policy Summit sponsor, and Realogy, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, RE/MAX, Engel & Vӧlkers, and Real Living Real Estate.

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