NAGLREP Attends HUD Globe Release of HUD Same-Sex Housing Discrimination Study

June 18, 2013 – NAGLREP proudly attended the HUD GLOBE event celebrating LGBT Pride Month with the release of HUD Same-Sex Housing Discrimination Study. HUD GLOBE presented “20 Years Working Together Towards Greater Visibility” on Tuesday, June 18 from 1-2:30 PM EST in the HUD Headquarters, Washington, DC.

The program began with a welcome address by HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan and the release of HUD’s first study on Same-Sex Housing Discrimination.  The meeting also featured Kenneth Carroll – HUD Director of Fair Housing Assistance Program Division Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity,  in addition to HUD Globe founders Peggy Mangum and Maryl Kerley, followed by a discussion on the visibility of LGBT people of color by Sharon Lettman-Hicks – Executive Director/CEO of the National Black Justice Coalition, and lastly a panel on the history and visibility of LGBT employees in the Federal workplace including John Benison – HUD Director of Office of Departamental Equal Employment Opportunity, Stacey Long of the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, Moderator Raul Alvillar – HUD Senior Advisor for Public Engagement Office of Public Affairs.

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 HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan addressing the attendees with the release of HUD’s Same-Sex Housing Discrimination Study

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Left to right: Sharon Lettman-Hicks – Executive Director/CEO National Black Justice Coalition, Brian Steckler – HUD Attorney – Advisor, Kenneth Carroll – HUD Director of Fair Housing Assistance Program Division Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity

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HUD Globe founders Peggy Mangum and Maryl Kerley

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Left to right: Panelists John Benison – HUD Director of Office of Departamental Equal Employment Opportunity, Stacey Long of the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, Moderator Raul Alvillar – HUD Senior Advisor for Public Engagement Office of Public Affairs

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Left to right: NAGLREP founder Jeff Berger, HUD Globe founders Peggy Mangum and Maryl Kerley, Kenneth Carroll HUD Director of Fair Housing Assistance Program Division, Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity

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An Estimate of Housing Discrimination Against Same-Sex Couples – Executive Summary

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Meeting agenda

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NAGLREP Attends White House LGBT Pride Month Reception 2013

NAGLREP founder Jeff Berger proudly attended the White House LGBT Pride Reception June 13, 2013 as an invited guest by President Barack Obama.  It was a sense of great appreciation and pride to have been invited to such an event as a result of NAGLREP’s accomplishments to LGBT Fair Housing.  The day began with an Advisory Meeting at the White House Dwight Eisenhower Executive Office Building as White House Senior Staff addressed approximately 100 national leading LGBT advocates.  Later that evening guests attended the LGBT White House Reception hosted in the East Wing of the White House. 

ImageNAGLREP Founder Jeff Berger as President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden addressed attendees of the White House LGBT Pride Reception

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 President Barack Obama shaking hands with guests after his address

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 NAGLREP Founder Jeff Berger and US Congressman John Lewis 

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NAGLREP Founder Jeff Berger and Stuart Milk, Harvey Milk’s nephew and Co-Founder of the Harvey Milk Foundation

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Invitation from President Barack Obama to the White House LGBT Pride Reception 2013

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Agenda for Morning Advisory Meeting hosted at the White House Dwight Eisenhower Executive Office Building

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President Barack Obama’s Proclamation to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Month 2013

NAGLREP Welcomes HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan as Guest Speaker

ImageLeft to Right: NAGLREP Directors Eric Axelson, Bruce Williams, Jeff Berger, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, NAR Vice President of Government Affairs Division Joe Ventrone

NAGLREP proudly welcomed HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan to our NAR Midyear meeting in DC May 15, 2013.  Secretary Donovan addressed approximately 100 NAGLREP members and allies in attendance and highlighted the many accomplishments the Administration and HUD have realized on behalf of the Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual and Transgender (LGBT) Americans.

The presence of HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan at the NAGLREP meeting was welcomed with open arms for what NAGLREP is calling 2013 a “pivotal year for LGBT Fair Housing”.  This November 8-11, 2013 NAGLREP will be in San Francisco to attend the National Association of REALTORS (NAR) annual meetings and on November 11 from 1-2:30pm NAR’s Delegate Body will cast a final vote on NAGLREP’s proposal to include gender identity protections to the NAR Code of Ethics.  NAGLREP has successfully already lobbied for sexual orientation protections to the NAR Code of Ethics.  See http://live.blogs.realtor.org/2012/05/16/diversity-committee-unanimously-votes-to-include-gender-identity-protections-in-nar-code-of-ethics/  

NAR’s Code of Ethics includes both REALTOR to customer conduct and also workplace conduct and with NAR being the largest trade organization in the USA with over 1 million members this is very significant to strengthen the case for for both an amendment to the Federal Fair Housing Law and to ENDA, the Employment Non Discrimination Act.

NAGLREP joins ILGA – International Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trans Intersex Association

Gay Real Estate Trade Association NAGLREP is proud to announce they have joined ILGA, the International Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trans and Intersex Association.  ILGA serves as the global LGBT lobby to the United Nations (UN).  NAGLREP has joined ILGA in an effort to better their global mission of advocacy and business and to further support their LGBT family worldwide.  Here is a link to the NAGLREP profile on the ILGA website http://ilga.org/directory/en/detail?o_id=8637

NAGLREP to Host 2013 Midyear Meeting in DC at Pivotal Time for LGBT Fair Housing

We recently sat down with NAGLREP, the National Association of Gay & Lesbian Real Estate Professionals founder Jeff Berger, a REALTOR in Boca Raton, FL.  NAGLREP is very much looking forward to spring home buying season and also to our 2013 midyear meeting hosted in Washington, DC this May 15th at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel.

The NAGLREP midyear meeting coincides with the National Association of REALTORS (NAR) midyear meetings and is a pivotal time for LGBT fair housing. It was just last year during the 2012 NAR midyear meetings when the NAR Diversity Committee voted unanimously on NAGLREP’s proposal to include gender identity protections to the NAR Code of Ethics. Then in November during the 2012 NAR annual meetings in Orlando the NAR Professional Standards Committee and Board of Directors voted in favor of NAGLREP’s proposal. The final vote will be cast by the NAR Delegate Body this November in San Francisco during the NAR 2013 annual meetings and if the vote is in favor of the change, then the policy will go into effect January 1, 2014.

In addition to NAGLREP presenting their final case for the gender identity proposal, the midyear meeting will also be focused on the future of same sex marriage and how REALTORS will have a continued role in assisting LGBT couples buy and sell real estate.

Following the midyear meeting, NAGLREP members and guests will celebrate that evening from 6-8pm at Nellie’s Sports Bar during their annual Midyear cocktail party. Nellie’s is a fun LGBT sports bar in DC and the party will be hosted on the outside roof deck. It will surely be a great night out.

Gay Real Estate Professionals assisting LGBT Families Navigate Home, School, and Safety

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An excerpt from “Family Pride: What LGBT Families Should Know about Navigating Home, School, and Safety in Their Neighborhoods, by Michael Shelton is the first book for LGBT parents, their families, and allies that emphasizes community and safety.

For same-sex parents, knowing the facts about a community’s diversity and inclusiveness are of resounding importance in their selection of a new home.

Recent research on LGBT-parented families informs us that:

  • Twelve to twenty percent of LGBT couples are raising children; another estimate is that one third to one half of lesbian and bisexual women and twenty percent of gay and bisexual men have a child.
  • Same-sex couples of color are more likely than their white counterparts to be raising children.
  • Gay men and lesbians raising children are more likely to be living in southern and/or rural states.

We also know that many LGBT families are moving from less hospitable regions of the country into geographical areas known to be welcoming.  What information then should REALTORS have readily available when working with LGBT families?  Consider beginning with the selection criteria of the Human Rights Campaign’s 2011 “On the Road to Equality” tour, which targeted states less welcoming of LGBTs.  The HRC looked at these states’ legal recognition of LGBT relationships, nondiscrimination laws, marriage amendments to the state constitution, and inclusion of sexual orientation and/or gender identity into their hate crimes laws (or if such a law even existed in a particular state).  HRC statewide criteria of particular relevance to LGBT parents were laws regarding second-parent adoptions, safe schools policies, and statutes restricting positive discussions of LGBT issues in schools.

At the local level, the LGBT parents I interviewed for my book Family Pride: What LGBT Families Should Know about Navigating Home, School, and Safety in Their Neighborhoods consistently reported their most pressing concern was the safety of their children, who experience a multitude of problems, including avoidance, harassment, bullying, and violence.  The also questioned:

  • How the local government treats its LGBT employees, including domestic partner benefits, legal dependent benefits, and family leave policies
  • Whether local public schools actively endorse heterosexuality as the “normal” and “right way to live”
  • The availability of religious institution supporting LGBTs
  • The relationship between local police enforcement and the LGBT community
  • The availability of professional resources (medical and mental health providers) open to working with LGBT’s.

While some LGBT families are fortunate to live in communities that welcome and even celebrate diversity, the majority lives in areas in which their treatment ranges from indifference and marginalization to censure and hostility.  Many will ultimately seek out the opportunity to relocate to a new neighborhood, a new city, or even a new state, and REALTORS will play no small role in this exodus.

NAGLREP – JEFF BERGER REALTOR & Founder Interview

ImageIt is been an exciting time for the LGBT Real Estate Community.  Founded in 2007 by REALTOR Jeff Berger, NAGLREP is a trade organization with a mission of advocacy and business.

NAGLREP is best known for assisting the LGBT and all communities locate  LGBT & Gay Friendly REALTORS and for their work in helping amend the National Association of REALTORS (NAR) Code of Ethics to include sexual orientation as a protected class.  Prior to sexual orientation being included to the NAR Code of Ethics in January 2011, sexual orientation in housing discrimination was more or less an unspoken topic within the REALTOR community. Prior to the change, if an LGBT person was discriminated against by a REALTOR for their sexual orientation there was no action taken because there were no rules to act upon at NAR. The most recent changes are bringing awareness to the topic and setting a new standard for fair housing and employment non discrimination. HUD soon after in 2011 announced similar policy including sexual orientation and gender identity non discrimination. Thankfully the number of complaints since the change has been limited but it is important to note that there have been recorded incidents of discrimination.

The NAR code of ethics includes both REALTOR to customer conduct and employment conduct. We have been asked why this matters so much and it is our belief that the change will have even a larger impact than fair housing. NAR is the largest trade organization in he United States with over 1 million members. NAGLREP feels the recent change will set a precedent when Congress looks at ENDA, the employment non discrimination act. Congress will clearly see NAR as an example of how other trade organizations and businesses administer policy.

NAGLREP also feels confident that gender identity will also be added to the NAR Code of Ethics by January 2014. NAGLREP introduced the proposal to NAR in 2011 and already the concern has received a unanimous vote in 2012 by the NAR Diversity Committee, NAR Professional Standards Committee, and the NAR Board of Directors. The next and final vote will be by the NAR Delegate Body this November 2013 during the NAR annual meetings in San Francisco.

Jeff Berger is soft spoken and says “Overnight success takes ten years.  NAGLREP just celebrated our 5th annual meeting and we look forward to the next 5 years and thereafter.”

Jeff Berger is a REALTOR with Keller Williams Realty serving East Boca Raton & East Delray Beach, FL, serves as the CEO of NAGLREP, is a member of the 2013 NAR Housing Opportunity Committee, and is a member of the 2013 Florida REALTORS Diversity Committee.  He can be reached via email berger.jeff@gmail.com and via phone 561-865-6117.