Washington, D.C. progressives screening out Trump-supporters in ads for roommates

posted at 5:21 pm on February 10, 2017 by John Sexton

The New York Times reports people posting ads for roommates in Washington, D.C. are adding a new caveat: Trump supporters need not apply:

In one recent ad, a couple in the area who identified themselves as “open-minded” and liberal advertised a $500 room in their home: “If you’re racist, sexist, homophobic or a Trump supporter please don’t respond. We won’t get along.”

In another, two women in their 20s were searching for a roommate to take over a lavender-colored room in their Columbia Heights apartment for $550. The women detailed their love of happy hours, a “good Netflix sesh,” pho and tacos.

“We’re open to any age/gender identity/non-identity,” they added, “so long as you didn’t vote for Trump.

Washington, D.C. lists “political affiliation” as a protected trait but Sheila Salmon, a housing lawyer, tell the Times, “Would it truly be rejection or discrimination on political affiliation?” She adds, “I think there’s a reasonable argument to be made that it’s not.” In Salmon’s view, screening out Trump supporters is the same as “saying you don’t want any nonsmokers.”

It would certainly be interesting to see if this would hold up in court. What is the point of making political affiliation a protected trait if supporting the candidate for one of two major parties does not constitute political affiliation?

Keep in mind that not all of the traits protected by housing law are of the immutable variety, i.e. race, national origin, skin color, etc. Other traits such as religion, and “gender expression” have some element of choice involved. Political affiliation, like religious affiliation, is not immutable but is often a matter of deeply held conviction.

It’s revealing that there is still one group of people against whom some progressives are eager to discriminate. The desire by some on the left to remain inside the progressive bubble at all times seems childish, even if it’s not illegal.


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