Boston Landlord: No Veterans Allowed

5 June 2012, 20:55 CDT

From Big Peace:

Anti-war activist Janice Roberts, a 63-year-old Dorchester, Massachusetts resident, has refused to rent an apartment to Sgt. Joel Morgan, 29, a veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Roberts told Morgan, according to the lawsuit Morgan filed this week, that his military service presented a “conflict of interest” for her, since she was a peace activist. “Because of what you told me about the Iraq war … we are very adamant about our beliefs … it’s just not comfortable for us … and I’m sure now that you know this, it would not be comfortable for you,” Roberts said via voicemail to Morgan. “I would suggest you do the right thing and look for a place less politically active or controversial.”

Morgan, who is no longer active military, is in training to become a firefighter in Boston. “I’ve never been in that situation, so it was like, ‘I don’t understand what you mean, I just want to give you a check and rent an apartment,’” Morgan told the media.

First, let’s get the legal argument out of the way.  Roberts is unquestionably in the wrong, and should lose easily in court. She specifically singled out Sgt Morgan’s lawfully protected class in denying him housing.  Paragraph 1 of the Fair Housing for Veterans Fact Sheet from the Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership:

What is fair housing and how does it relate to veterans?

Fair housing is a set of principles, civil laws and regulations which provide equal access and opportunity to housing for protected class members. It impacts the property owner’s policies, practices, procedures and services in terms of advertising, application, tenant selection, amenities, and termination. Under Massachusetts fair housing law, Chapter 151B, military status, which includes veterans is a protected class. Protected classes are designated groups of people and their families that are covered under fair housing law. The military status protected class covers veterans, those individuals on active duty, and those persons enrolled in the Reserves. (emphasis mine)

Sgt Morgan was shot at and risked his own life to protect this woman’s right to be an idiot.  He returns to the states and seeks out a career running into burning buildings to save lives and property.  The thrice-over hero is thanked by the hippie with veiled threats that he really shouldn’t come around, and that his money isn’t welcome in her part of town.

That’s not America.

Images: CBS Boston, Flyover Country


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