|The Code of Ethics of the National Association of REALTORS® has
guided the professional lives of our members for over a century. For the
last four decades REALTORS® have embraced the Code's duty to provide
equal professional services to all persons. Initially the Code mirrored
the federal fair housing law's protective classes of race, creed, sex
and country of national origin. Later, as sensitivity to the evils of
discrimination increased and laws changed, color, religion, handicap,
and familial status were added to Article Ten of the Code to help
REALTORS® fully understand and comply with their ethical and legal
duties. More recently, the scope of Article 10 moved beyond the
requirements of the federal law, adding sexual orientation and gender
The REALTOR® leaders of the National Association, as well as REALTORS® nationwide, are deeply troubled by legislation proposed in state legislatures that would, if enacted, expressly authorize discrimination in housing or real estate professional services against individuals and groups. Attempts to authorize and encourage discrimination in housing or real estate services under any banner are ethically wrong and wholly inconsistent with the fundamental principles of the REALTORS® Code of Ethics. It's unquestioned that where the Code of Ethics and the law conflict, the Code must give way to the law. But we will continue to tell the public, and legislators should be on notice, that the Code's duties, which often set a higher bar than law or regulation, do and will continue to prohibit discrimination in providing real estate services despite what the law may permit. The Code of Ethics is the cornerstone on which the REALTOR® organization was built, and REALTORS® will never waver in their heartfelt commitment to equal professional services for all.
I am very proud of the National Association of REALTORS® for taking this very brave and public stand against discrimination. This statement was reviewed by NAR's Professional Standards Committee and Diversity Committee as well as the NAR leadership team.
Needless to say I was overwhelmed and thankful for Steve's time and personal concern that I understand his clear concern about this issue.
We discussed how NAR and the various state political action committees interact. NAR can not tell the state PACs whom to endorse, however this statement should make it very clear where the organization stands and what values it places on equality. Steve encouraged me to use NAR's statement in blogs and posts to spread the word.
My hope now is that the state PAC's will take this statement and enforce it with the various candidates. I also hope that the large number of LGBT Realtors who have been silently waiting for NAR and TREPAC to change on their own, will now step forward and demand the fulfillment of this policy.