On Friday November 5, members of the National Association of Gay & Lesbian Real Estate Professionals (NAGLREP) gathered in New Orleans to celebrate their third annual meeting.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR), on a proposal NAGLREP and the Wisconsin Realtor Association had brought forth, voted by a 9-1 margin to amend the NAR Code of Ethics to include sexual orientation as a protected class.

With 1.4 million members, NAR is the largest privately held trade organization in the UnitedStates, and its Code of Ethics refers to realtor conduct as to both clients and the workplace. NAGLREP’s Jeff Berger, the founder of the group, has referred to NAR's code change as “our own mini ENDA.”

Berger also indicated that NAGLREP is presently working with a coalition of congresspersons to amend the Federal Fair Housing Law to include LGBT protections.

Amongst the attendees at the New Orleans convention was local realtor John Castelli of Castelli Homes, who serves on various local and state committees. Explaining the impact of the new rule, Castelli stated that “Should any Realtor discriminate based on sexual orientation they would be brought before a hearing panel through our Grievance Committee.”

Castelli added that he is presently the Director Liaison to the Grievance Committee of the local South Florida board.

Jeff Berger has written an article about his experiences online at http://dot429.com/articles/2010/11/11/lgbt-win-protected-class-real-estate