A Boulder County, Colorado property owner is being sued in federal court under the Fair Housing Act for refusing to rent a housing unit to a same-sex couple.
In a news release, Lambda Legal accuses Deepika Avanti, of Gold Hill, Colorado of discrimination for turning away would be renters, Tonya and Rachel Smith because of their “uniqueness.”
“Worrying about what the neighbors will say is no excuse for discrimination,” states Lambda Legal Staff Attorney Omar Gonzalez-Pagan, in a news release.
The Smiths are a same-sex couple, one of whom is transgender, according to Lambda Legal. They have been married for more than five years and have two children, ages two and six.
The Smiths contend after touring Avanti’s house they received an email from the landlord expressing a concern for unwanted attention would come to the property because of their “unique relationship.”
“This was so stunning and upsetting,” Tonya Smith said in a news release. “We liked Deepika when we first met her, and we left the showing feeling fairly good about things. When we first heard from her that we were being denied housing, the first response was shock. We were completely dumbfounded that who we are could be the basis of a decision not to allow us to rent from her. It’s wrong, and no one should have to go through what we went through.”
Filed Jan. 14, the lawsuit asserts Avanti engaged in discrimination on the basis of sex and familial status, in violation of the federal Fair Housing Act and Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act.