The trade organization National
Association of Realtors (NAR) recently banned discrimination based on
The group's new anti-discrimination
policy, approved last year and in effect since January 1, prohibits a
realtor member from denying his or her “professional services to
any person for reasons of race, color, religion, sex, handicap,
familial status, national origin and sexual orientation.”
In Holland, Michigan, where the city
council recently rejected an ordinance that would have banned
discrimination based on sexual orientation, realtor Dale Zahn, CEO of
the West Michigan Lakeshore Association of Realtors, told
MLive.com that the city's decision wouldn't affect his business.
“Regardless of what Holland did, a
realtor cannot violate the code and ignore it,” Zahn said.
“Realtors have to live under the code regardless of that local
ordinance. The code prevails.”
Jeff Hammerberg, founder of
said the new policy was “rolled out quietly.”
“[W]e wanted to make the LGBT
community and nation aware,” of the change, he said.
Realtors interviewed for MLive.com's
story supported the move.
“It would seem to me that not
allowing discrimination on any basis would be the natural order of
things,” said Eric Webster, a realtor since 1989. “I don't
believe anyone should be discriminated against because of who they