Gay Realtors and gay friendly real estate agents of NAGLREP are proud to be involved in a great movement of advocacy for LGBT rights pertaining to equal housing opportunity. In early 2007, the National Association of Gay & Lesbian Real Estate Professionals (NAGLREP) was founded by Jeff Berger with a primary mission to advocate on behalf of the rights of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender (GLBT) community as it relates to local and federal housing and discrimination laws. Jeff says “Our gay real estate trade organization is governed by a board of directors, and it is exciting to see glbt and gay friendly members of NAGLREP making progress within the National Association of Realtors (NAR) organization, and with federal legislators.”
During the November 2009 annual meetings of NAR in San Diego, NAGLREP, with help of the Wisconsin Realtor Association (WRA), successfully lobbied NAR to amend NAR’s policy on equal housing opportunity to include sexual orientation as a protected class. It was an exciting time, and NAGLREP members shared dinner during our 2nd annual meeting to celebrate the success for our community. Dick Gaylord, a NAGLREP member and 2008 NAR president was a guest speaker at our annual meeting. Dick discussed an array of issues including our recent accomplishment, and the work we have ahead of us. Confirmation of NAR’s policy change is posted on their website.
NAGLREP, with the Wisconsin Realtor Association (WRA) is also currently lobbying NAR to amend the NAR Code of Ethics, also known as rule #10, to include sexual orientation and gender identity as a protected class. This advocacy effort actively started in early 2008 and continues to be a work in progress.
According to article 10 in the National Association of Realtors Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice, Realtors can’t deny equal professional services or discriminate based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin. The current code does not mention sexual orientation or gender identity, and NAGLREP expects a final vote on our proposal by the NAR Professional Standards Committee this November in New Orleans during the NAR 2010 annual meetings. Recently NAR director Bob Hunt wrote an article in Realty Times speculating the change in NAR policy in San Diego during the NAR annual meetings in November 2009 will help expand the anti-discrimination policy.
In January 2010, NAGLREP director Eric Kodner was appointed to the board of the National Association of Realtors Equal Opportunity – Cultural Diversity Committee (EOC). It is exciting as NAGLREP has since been invited by NAR to participate in a forum of the EOC during the NAR midyear meetings this May in Washington, DC. We will also join the EOC on ‘Hill Day” when we’ll visit Capitol Hill to speak with legislators about GLBT rights and amending the federal equal housing opportunity laws to include protections for sexual orientation and gender identity.
In February 2010, Kodner received his certification by the National Association of Realtors to teach their “At Home With Diversity” Course. Kodner joins a select group of fewer than two hundred NAR-Certified instructors in North America who are approved to teach the coursework for the At Home With Diversity certification. The course addresses issues of diversity, fair housing and cultural differences.
NAGLREP will celebrate our 3rd annual meeting during the 2010 NAR annual meetings this November in New Orleans. During the 2010 NAR annual meetings, NAGLREP has been invited by 2010 NAR President Vicki Cox Golder to speak with her in a private meeting to discuss equal housing opportunity for the GLBT community. It surely is an exciting time.