Florida Condo Association Allows Married Residents Only: Sorry Gays

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A condo association in Florida has found a way to keep out those pesky homosexuals and people shacking up in sin. It only allows single people or those who are legally married as "husband and wife" to buy in the neighborhood.

The kicker: it's completely legal under Florida law.

Julia Nowak, an openly gay realtor, discovered the new restrictions when the condo association of the Casa Di Amici Condo near Venice, Florida, adopted them in July. She owns a unit in the upscale neighborhood and rents it out to her elderly parents.

"I could not believe what I was reading. It basically says you have to be either a single person or a husband and wife to purchase a unit here," Nowak told WTSP.

Seriously, you can read the declaration yourself on the association's comic sans-riddled website:

The sale, lease, or transfer of a Condominium Unit may be made only to an individual, to a husband and wife jointly, to the trustee or trustees of a trust, the beneficiaries of which are limited to an individual, a husband and wife, or the lineal descendants of a the husband and wife, or either of them, or to a partnership organized for the purpose of holding title to a Condominium Unit and the partners of which are an individual or husband and wife.

Sorry straight couples living in sin. Sorry older people who want to live together without getting married which could alter their social security benefits. And sorry gay people. Even if you are married legally in another state, the rules specifically state "husband and wife."

And that discrimination is perfectly legal.

"There's nothing illegal or contrary to federal, state or local ordinances," attorney Mary Greenwood tells the station.

While Venice, Florida, has an anti-discrimination ordinance on the books, the condo units are located in unincorporated Sarasota County. So unless the county or the state of Florida passes a human-rights law that forbids discrimination, this is all perfectly legal.

While gay marriage is at the forefront of the national gay rights debate, it's important to remember that in many places it's still perfectly legal to fire someone or deny them housing based on their orientation and relationship status.

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3 comments
julia.prudence
julia.prudence

the condo board has given in and changed the discriminatory verbiage.   I want to thank the media for bringing this to light in the public eye.  My next step is to get a county ordinance

jbaumeister
jbaumeister

Technically, they could just ban sales to gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender persons, since that sort of heinously awful bigotry is legal where the HOA is located.  Apparently they're too ashamed of their prejudices to write them so openly in to the Association rules.  Unfortunately for them, no one's missed the message.

JamesInCA
JamesInCA

Must be nice to have so many buyers they can turn people away.

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