Following is a statement from National Association of Realtors® President Chris Polychron:
The REALTOR® leaders of the National Association, as well as REALTORS® nationwide, are deeply troubled by legislation recently enacted and currently proposed in several state legislatures across the country that expressly authorize discrimination in housing or real estate professional services against individuals and groups.
Attempts to authorize and encourage discrimination in housing or real estate services under any banner are ethically wrong and wholly inconsistent with the fundamental principles of the REALTORS® Code of Ethics. It’s unquestioned that where the Code of Ethics and the law conflict, the Code must give way to the law. But the public and legislators should be on notice, that the Code’s duties, which often set a higher bar than law or regulation, do and will continue to prohibit discrimination in providing real estate services despite what the law may permit.
The Code of Ethics of the National Association of REALTORS® has guided the professional lives of our members for over a century. For the last four decades REALTORS® have embraced the Code’s duty to provide equal professional services to all persons. Initially the Code mirrored the federal fair housing law’s protected classes of race, creed, sex and country of national origin. Later, as sensitivity to the evils of discrimination increased and laws changed, color, religion, handicap and familial status were added to Article 10 of the Code to help REALTORS® fully understand and comply with their ethical and legal duties. More recently, the scope of Article 10 moved beyond the requirements of the federal law, adding sexual orientation and gender identity.
As Americans across the country honor Fair Housing Month this April, NAR and it’s 1 million members vow to remain true to the Code of Ethics, the cornerstone on which the REALTOR® organization was built, and will never waver in our heartfelt commitment to equal professional services for all.