A married lesbian couple on Wednesday
filed a lawsuit against a senior housing community in St. Louis,
Missouri that cited the Bible in rejecting them.
Mary Walsh, 72, and Bev Nance, 68,
claim that Friendship Village Sunset Hills told them that they would
not accept them because it follows the “Biblical definition” of
marriage and “defined marriage as between a man and a woman.”
Friendship Village is not affiliated
with or operated by a religious order. It is the only senior housing
community in the area that offers increased levels of care without an
increase in cost to residents.
“We've been together for nearly 40
years and have spent our lives in St. Louis,” Walsh said. “We
want to grow older here by each other's side. We should not be
prevented from accessing the housing and care we need.”
Walsh and Nance are represented by the
National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and the ACLU of Missouri,
which allege in their lawsuit that Friendship Village violated the
Federal Fair Housing Act and Missouri Human Rights Act by
discriminating against the women on the basis of sex.
“Mary and Bev were denied housing for
one reason and one reason only – because they were married to each
other rather than men,” NCLR said in a statement. “This is
exactly the type of sex discrimination the Fair Housing Act