Friday, May 2, 2014

NAGLREP Policy Statement

 Policy Statement of the
Texas Chapter of the National Association
of Gay & Lesbian Real Estate Professionals

Whereas the Texas Association of Realtors (TAR), through its Texas Real Estate Political Action Committee (TREPAC), endorses candidates in local and state-wide elections
* and Whereas TAR and TREPAC pride themselves on a "proven track record of protecting private-property rights, preserving the dream of homeownership, and supporting the vitality of the real estate industry."
* and Whereas the National Association of Realtors (NAR) Code of Ethics Article 10 codifies that "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." 
* and Whereas Marriage between two consenting adults gives both parties Property Rights of inheritance, homestead, taxation and more which can not be easily replicated in wills, living together agreements or other such documents
* and Whereas TREPAC and TAR take substantial donations from LGBT Agents and affiliated real estate professionals
* and Whereas NAR has issued a Policy Statement against "Religious Freedom" discrimination laws
* and Whereas Texas has the second largest LGBT population second only to California, with Houston, Dallas/Fort Worth, Austin & San Antonio having well established LGBT communities

THEREFORE the Texas Chapter of the National Association of Gay & Lesbian Real Estate Professionals requests the following changes from our local and state Associations of Realtors.
1. Local and State PAC committees will add the following two questions to their candidate interview questionnaire:
The legal state of marriage grants both parties unique and distinct property rights which are difficult to replicate through wills, contracts and other legal devices.  NAR estimates that 66% of home buyers are married couples.  Marriage provides stability for families which builds better communities and improves housing values.  Home sales stimulate the local economy via repairs, improvements and ongoing community involvement. The Realtor Code of Ethics and Federal Fair Housing laws require REALTORS not to discriminate in our real estate practices and hiring.  Do you support Marriage Equality and the Property Rights of gay and lesbian couples?

YES _____ NO _____

Various states including Texas are contemplating “Religious Liberty” laws designed to allow employees with “deeply held religious beliefs” to deny service to LGBT members of the community.  This will include police, fire, ambulance personnel as well as hospital, municipal and service employees, like REALTORS.  These laws allow discrimination against a class of people simply for being who they are.  The Realtor Code of Ethics and Federal Fair Housing require REALTORS not to discriminate in our real estate practices and hiring.  Do you support Religious Freedom Bills which legalize this type of discrimination.

YES _____ NO _____
2. Currently Endorsed Candidates will be informed by TAR & TREPAC about the concerns surrounding anti-Marriage Equality and "Religious Freedom" legislation as it relates to Property Rights and equal service.

3. Candidates who are identified as sponsoring discriminatory bills or activities will have their TREPAC endorsement reviewed or pulled.

4. TREPAC and TAR staff and volunteers will commit to a substantive, ongoing dialog with the leadership of the Texas Chapter of NAGLREP for greater understanding of LGBT Realtor and community issues.

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The National Association of Gay & Lesbian Real Estate Professionals (NAGLREP) advocates on behalf of the rights of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender (GLBT) community as it relates to housing and discrimination laws. Specifically, this will require NAGLREP to initiate action and encourage existing efforts amongst the civil rights community, local and state Realtor Associations, and the National Association of Realtors to support fair housing for the GLBT community.
For Further information contact Bob McCranie at 972-754-0582
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