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No 'Christian' roommate for churchgoer- Complaint filed with Fair Housing Center
WOOD TV ^ | 10/21/10

Posted on 10/21/2010 6:33:45 PM PDT by earlJam

No 'Christian' roommate for churchgoer Complaint filed with Fair Housing Center

Updated: Thursday, 21 Oct 2010, 5:51 PM EDT Published : Thursday, 21 Oct 2010, 5:51 PM EDT

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - The Fair Housing Center of West Michigan filed a housing discrimination charge against a Grand Rapids woman who advertised for a Christian roommate on her church bulletin board.

The 31-year-old woman's attorney, who works for the Alliance Defense Fund , said this is a blatant violation of her First Amendment right to freely associate.

But Nancy Haynes of the Fair Housing Center told 24 Hour News 8 the woman has every right to seek and live with a Christian roommate -- but advertising for it publicly, even on a church bulletin board, violates federal law.

"She can be a Christian and she can even use that as a criteria for who she wants to rent to. She just can't state that. Because to state that is a violation of the Fair Housing Act," she said. "There are certain exceptions that apply. She can actually, in practice, not rent to a non-Christian. But she can't make the statement. The statement alone is a violation of the act. What she can do in practice she can't make a statement about."

Haynes said the Fair Housing Center began investigating after someone in the congregation, who was offended, filed a complaint.

The center then filed a complaint with the Michigan Department of Civil Rights , and the action is administrative, not criminal. The center asks for a response to try and negotiate a settlement. If they can't, it's possible that the Michigan Department of Civil Rights would determine if a violation happened and perhaps recommend a hearing.

The Alliance Defense Fund sent a letter seeking dismissal of this complaint to the Michigan Department of Civil Rights, but there has not yet been a response.

"I found (the woman and her attorney's) response very offensive. We're not punishing her for being Christian at all. If you're in the business of renting, it's a business transaction that's held to a standard under federal, state and local law."

The state wants the woman to get training in federal law, and reimburse the Fair Housing Center $300 for the time it took them to investigate.


TOPICS: News/Current Events; US: Michigan
KEYWORDS: grandrapids; michigan
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1 posted on 10/21/2010 6:33:48 PM PDT by earlJam
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To: earlJam
... discrimination charge against a Grand Rapids woman who advertised for a Christian roommate on her church bulletin board.

So, does the gov go around checking church bulletin boards now?

2 posted on 10/21/2010 6:35:58 PM PDT by Spirochete (Just say NO to RINOs)
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To: earlJam

Okay, does this make any sense? Someone in a Christian congregation was offended by this? And since when does an act trump the Constitution? It’s time to dump the bureaucrats.


3 posted on 10/21/2010 6:37:08 PM PDT by JMS
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To: Spirochete

I’m curious to know which church this was and which denomination they belong to. If it’s one of the lefty churches, it’s not surprising that a liberal spy would be in the congregation and rat her out to big brother.


4 posted on 10/21/2010 6:39:33 PM PDT by Yet_Again
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To: Spirochete
Time to start shouting "Separation of church and state."

Get the federal government out of the church

5 posted on 10/21/2010 6:40:56 PM PDT by w1andsodidwe (How can you tell when the President is lying? When his lips move, of course.)
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To: earlJam
She has a right to discriminate in the choice of a roommate sharing her apartment. She would not have the right to discriminate religiously if she were renting other apartments.
6 posted on 10/21/2010 6:41:06 PM PDT by iowamark
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To: earlJam

Wonder what the reaction would have been if she had asked for a Jewish or Muslim Roommate. Not like wanting a Christian roommate I’d wager.


7 posted on 10/21/2010 6:42:00 PM PDT by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country! What else needs said?)
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To: earlJam
The state wants the woman to get training in federal law, and reimburse the Fair Housing Center $300 for the time it took them to investigate

Surprise, surprise.

8 posted on 10/21/2010 6:43:02 PM PDT by Shelayne (He who testifies to these things says, "Yes, I am coming quickly" Amen. Come, Lord Jesus! *Rev 22:20)
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To: earlJam

Good luck! Back in my day in Madison, WI - someone advertising for a roommate/someone to share a house with ran into the same claim. They ended up being forced into a re-education/sensitivity training process as an alternative to fines or jail time. Oy!


9 posted on 10/21/2010 6:44:41 PM PDT by Wally_Kalbacken
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To: earlJam

Oh good grief!


10 posted on 10/21/2010 6:44:42 PM PDT by DirtyDawg (eat fruit)
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To: earlJam

I am sorry. The idea that someone cannot discriminate in choosing a roommate is absurd. She was not trying to find a tenant for rental property. A government that interferes with someone choosing a roommate has gone too far.


11 posted on 10/21/2010 6:44:51 PM PDT by Truth is a Weapon (If I weren't afraid of the feds, I would refer to Obama as our "undocumented POTUS")
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To: earlJam

Discrimination against whom? So if a Muslim comes to the door, she has to take he/she on as a roomate in order to not discriminate?? Ridiculous!!


12 posted on 10/21/2010 6:45:04 PM PDT by Sacajaweau (What)
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To: earlJam

Maybe someone should check the local mosque’s bulletin board and make sure no one is advertising for a muslim roommate.

This crap infuriates me. What has happened to OUR rights???? And someone in the congregation complained? Maybe they’re in the wrong building.


13 posted on 10/21/2010 6:46:03 PM PDT by ilovesarah2012
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To: earlJam

The Alliance Defense Fund sent a letter seeking dismissal of this complaint to the Michigan Department of Civil Rights, but there has not yet been a response.

___________________________________________

I’m not familiar with this agency. It sounds like a Civil Rights group. I should thing the even ACLU would freak out at this gross violation of this woman’s rights.


14 posted on 10/21/2010 6:46:23 PM PDT by Responsibility2nd (Yes, as a matter of fact, what you do in your bedroom IS my business.)
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To: iowamark
Last I looked, the Constitution only restrained the FedGov, and no-one else.

What part of the Constitution gives the federal gooberment the power to regulate intra-state rentals? Seems like a state's issue, if any government should be involved. And it shouldn't. Not even if she advertised for a brand new block of 100 apartments (No Irish Need Apply). Not the business of the state.

/johnny

15 posted on 10/21/2010 6:46:23 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: JMS

Must be an Episcopalian or Methodist church...they would be offended.


16 posted on 10/21/2010 6:46:31 PM PDT by TheGunny
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To: earlJam
But Nancy Haynes of the Fair Housing Center [said] "She can be a Christian and she can even use that as a criteria for who she wants to rent to. She just can't state that. Because to state that is a violation of the Fair Housing Act... What she can do in practice she can't make a statement about."

Nancy Hanes needs to be put in charge of housing enforcement against the Muslim community - let's see how loudly she brays her totalitarian crap to them. Check the community ads at any mosques lately, Nancy? How's that balance of fair enforcement across religious lines going, you vicious liberal hag?

17 posted on 10/21/2010 6:46:45 PM PDT by Talisker (When you find a turtle on top of a fence post, you can be damn sure it didn't get there on its own.)
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To: Spirochete

The story stated that someone in her own church turned her in.

Makes me wonder what kind of church would turn in a fellow congregant for asking for a Christian roommate.


18 posted on 10/21/2010 6:47:11 PM PDT by earlJam
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To: Spirochete

Right. Big Brother is watching our church bulletin boards! Disgusting.


19 posted on 10/21/2010 6:48:09 PM PDT by tuckrdout ( A fool vents all his feelings, but a wise man holds them back. Prov.29:11)
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To: earlJam

Would it be discrimination if she wanted a female only roommate?? Non-smoking roommate??


20 posted on 10/21/2010 6:48:52 PM PDT by MissTed (Always borrow money from a pessimist. He won't expect it back.)
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To: JMS

Well, I’m getting flak right now on one of my friend’s facebook wall. It’s one of HIS friends who claims to be an ordained deacon in the Presybterian Church and also on his page claims to be a LEFTY and judging by his problems with my beliefs about Christ, he really is a lefty.

As the saying goes, being in a bakery does not make you a bagel.


21 posted on 10/21/2010 6:49:15 PM PDT by Paved Paradise
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To: w1andsodidwe
Time to start shouting "Separation of church and state."

Absolutely. As the Bearded Marxist says, we need to defend the First Amendment as written.

22 posted on 10/21/2010 6:50:00 PM PDT by Pollster1 (Natural born citizen of the USA, with the birth certificate to prove it)
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To: Shelayne

Can “re-education” camps be far behind?


23 posted on 10/21/2010 6:50:23 PM PDT by liberalism is suicide (Communism,fascism-no matter how you slice socialism, its still baloney)
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To: JMS

Must be an Episcopalian or Methodist church...they would be offended.


24 posted on 10/21/2010 6:51:25 PM PDT by TheGunny
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To: earlJam

Wow. Where I come from (never mind where), you’re allowed a great deal more latitude about picking a person to LIVE with. Business arrangement or not, a roommate or a tenant in the house you occupy is just a whole different thing than a tenant not under your own roof.
Unbelievable. What’s happened to America?


25 posted on 10/21/2010 6:52:44 PM PDT by 668 - Neighbor of the Beast ( A window seat, a jug of elderberry wine, and thou.)
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To: earlJam

Is being a bureaucrat at the “Fair Housing Center” considered a job? Is it one of the “shovel-ready” jobs our leader created for us?


26 posted on 10/21/2010 6:53:34 PM PDT by madprof98 ("moritur et ridet" - salvianus)
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To: earlJam

I’d tell these government screws to blow it out their a** so fast it would make their heads spin. Let them throw me in prison for this... please!


27 posted on 10/21/2010 6:54:38 PM PDT by MarineBrat (Better dead than red!)
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To: Truth is a Weapon

You CAN discriminate...you just can’t SAY you are discriminating...yeah, stupid, isn’t it...magritte


28 posted on 10/21/2010 6:58:00 PM PDT by magritte ("There are moments, Jeeves, when one asks oneself "Do trousers matter?")
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For the record:

http://www.indianroommates.in/Detroit

http://www.usaindian.net/usa-indian/Indian-roommate-finder-search-USA.asp


29 posted on 10/21/2010 6:58:41 PM PDT by earlJam
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To: JMS
Who was this masked offended person? Must we live in constant fear of offending someone? Will there be a lawyer behind everyone who is offended?

We are really a whacked society....

30 posted on 10/21/2010 6:59:00 PM PDT by The_Media_never_lie
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To: 668 - Neighbor of the Beast
We knew a young man years ago who wanted a third roommate for his quite large apartment (he was a student and stowed a motorcycle in the living room).

So, he contacted the business office at the WarshPost and said he preferred a student.

The Post ran the want ad ~ it said "STUD PREFERRED".

Half the gay blades in DC called checking on the availability of that rental.

31 posted on 10/21/2010 7:01:23 PM PDT by muawiyah ("GIT OUT THE WAY" The Republicans are coming)
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To: tuckrdout
From the story:

"the Fair Housing Center began investigating after someone in the congregation, who was offended, filed a complaint."

32 posted on 10/21/2010 7:01:27 PM PDT by earlJam
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To: earlJam
Do you think when Shakespeare wrote - "First kill all the lawyers!" - he might have meant Congress?

(sarcasm)

33 posted on 10/21/2010 7:03:15 PM PDT by airborne (Why is it we won't allow the Bible in school, but we will in prison? Think about it.)
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To: ilovesarah2012
"Maybe someone should check the local mosque’s bulletin board and make sure no one is advertising for a muslim roommate"

Oh, but that would be different.

34 posted on 10/21/2010 7:04:20 PM PDT by cookcounty (Dec 31st is coming: .....Stop Bark-bark Obama's Midnight Jack-Up!)
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To: earlJam
We were wandering around a little tourist town off the Mohawk trail in MA, and came across this on the local street-side bulletin board:

~~~~~~~~~~~

"Wanted: warm, fuzzy lesbian roommate."

~~~~~~~~~~~

I'll bet no one filed a "Fair Housing Act" complaint on that one...

35 posted on 10/21/2010 7:06:42 PM PDT by TXnMA ("Allah": Satan's current alias...)
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To: earlJam

so at what point can you not request a male/female roommate? It seems even requesting a roommate discrimnates against those of us who don’t want a roommate.........


36 posted on 10/21/2010 7:07:55 PM PDT by mockingbyrd (Remember in November.)
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To: earlJam
Haynes said the Fair Housing Center began investigating after someone in the congregation, who was offended, filed a complaint.

Does anyone believe this? I don't. I think that someone with an agenda was actively trolling through various churches and looking at bulletin boards specifically to find cases like this.

It might have been an atheist activist looking for anything actionable, it might have been a homosexual activist who would have then attempted to find out if the woman discriminates against lesbians, or it might have even been someone associated with the "Fair Housing Center" (snort) who was looking for a chump they could spring their crap on and thus justify their tax-sucking existence.

What I would be willing to bet megabucks on is that it was NOT a regularly attending member of that church's congregation and that the "Fair Housing Center" will fight to the death to avoid revealing who made the complaint. Further, I would go so far as to say I bet there are a LOT of complaints submitted by that person.

37 posted on 10/21/2010 7:07:55 PM PDT by Ronin (If he were not so gruesomely incompetent and dangerous, Obama would just be silly.)
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To: earlJam
…advertising for it publicly, even on a church bulletin board, violates federal law.

Which clause of the Constitution gave Congress the right to regulate advertisements for roommates? If, then, it is not authorized by the Constitution then it is no more a law than one I would write and post on the internet. It is time, indeed past time, that we challenge the overreaching of Congress.

38 posted on 10/21/2010 7:11:18 PM PDT by Petrosius
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To: w1andsodidwe
Time to start shouting "Separation of church and state." Get the federal government out of the church

I agree. In fact we need to take back that language which was intended to protect those of faith. Our side should more strongly educate the masses as to what separation of church and state is really all about.

39 posted on 10/21/2010 7:11:24 PM PDT by plain talk
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To: earlJam

Couldn’t she just state that her roommate must “conform to normal Christian behavior?” I would think that would solve the problem.


40 posted on 10/21/2010 7:12:15 PM PDT by oldleft
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To: earlJam

The Fair Housing Act needs to be repealed. It is a very stupid law.


41 posted on 10/21/2010 7:13:24 PM PDT by HwyChile
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To: AdmSmith; Arthur Wildfire! March; Berosus; bigheadfred; Convert from ECUSA; Delacon; dervish; ...
Thanks earlJam.
The Fair Housing Center of West Michigan filed a housing discrimination charge against a Grand Rapids woman who advertised for a Christian roommate on her church bulletin board. The 31-year-old woman's attorney, who works for the Alliance Defense Fund , said this is a blatant violation of her First Amendment right to freely associate.

42 posted on 10/21/2010 7:14:17 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (The 2nd Amendment follows right behind the 1st because some people are hard of hearing.)
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To: earlJam

FHA is just one more unConstitutional law. And I’d like to find a roomate for any judge who imagines otherwise.


43 posted on 10/21/2010 7:17:43 PM PDT by rmlew (You want change? Vote for the most conservative electable in your state or district.)
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To: ilovesarah2012

Yup look what I found. Hundreds of requests for Muslim roommates!
http://www.muslimtradingpost.com/index.php?watan=ALL&cat=35


44 posted on 10/21/2010 7:20:15 PM PDT by MNDude (Ask the Native American's how their "Open Borders" policy worked out for them.)
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To: earlJam

To explain, for years the federal government has had the strictest standards imaginable for housing *advertisements*. There is a huge list of words that are prohibited for use in such advertisements.

Advertisements *must* be open to everyone. Official exclusions you can print are remarkably few. And they police such advertisements ferociously, everywhere they appear. Even putting advertisements where they will likely not be seen by everyone can get you in trouble.

But even they agree that if someone who rents or sells a home or apartment is “discreet”, they can get away with not renting or selling to someone they don’t want to. They just need a plausible excuse that’s not on the list.

Some prohibited words and phrases include: “integrated neighborhood”, “exclusive”, “married couples only”, “not handicapped accessible”, any mention of race, religion, some limitations to gender, national origin, or membership in private organizations that can legally discriminate or proximity to such an organization like a country club.

Interestingly, you can now include things like “Give your family a Christmas present”.

You have to be very careful in stating that a property has been rented or sold, when it hasn’t, as proof could be demanded immediately.

“Blockbusting” and “steering” by real estate agents is forbidden. The former is trying to stimulate a sale by implying that undesirable persons are moving into the neighborhood, and the latter is to encourage people to move into a neighborhood “with their own kind.”

There are a bunch of exclusions to these rules, but you need to do some serious study to learn what you can and cannot do when renting or selling, and advertising such.


45 posted on 10/21/2010 7:22:18 PM PDT by yefragetuwrabrumuy
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To: MNDude

Great catch!


46 posted on 10/21/2010 7:25:12 PM PDT by syriacus (Bubbles against religious expression are OK around abortion clinics, but not OK around Ground Zero.)
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To: tuckrdout

I know that the libs like to throw around the term, but doesn’t this smack of Gestapo tactics? Prowling churches for “violations?”


47 posted on 10/21/2010 7:26:04 PM PDT by CASchack
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To: Spirochete
So, does the gov go around checking church bulletin boards now?

No...some busybody got their knickers in a twist and bitched about it, more than likely.

48 posted on 10/21/2010 7:26:16 PM PDT by Bloody Sam Roberts ("Give me your secrets, Bring me a sign, Give me a reason to walk the fire.")
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To: earlJam

I think it is screamingly funny.
You can do it, you just can’t say it.
Monty Python couldn’t write a more absurd skit.


49 posted on 10/21/2010 7:26:47 PM PDT by IrishCatholic (No local Communist or Socialist Party Chapter? Join the Democrats, it's the same thing!)
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To: earlJam

FAIR HOUSING ADVERTISING WORD AND PHRASE LIST
Revised 05/01/09
http://www.mvfairhousing.com/pdfs/ad-word-list.pdf

not acceptable

adult living
adult park
adults only
English only
golden-agers only
mature complex
mature couple
Newlyweds
# of children
Parish
play area, no

caution

Exclusive
Executive
Mormon Temple
Muslim
# of persons
# of sleeping areas
perfect for . . . (should not describe people)
pets, no
Prestigious


50 posted on 10/21/2010 7:27:41 PM PDT by donna (The fruits of Feminism: Angry fathers, bitter mothers, fat kids and political correctness.)
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