The trade organization National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently banned discrimination based on sexual orientation.

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 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'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 are.”