April 2021 Coach's Quiz
Okay, now it’s your turn. We’ve explained the eight rules to follow to manage the risk of liability for LGBT-based discrimination. Let’s see how well you’ve learned the lesson. Take the Coach’s Quiz below to see if you can apply the rules to real-life situations. Each question has one and only one correct answer. On a separate piece of paper, write down the number of each question, and list the letter corresponding to the answer you believe is correct—for example, (1) b, (2) a, and so on. The correct answers (with explanations) follow the Quiz. Good luck!
Which of the following is legitimate justification for refusing to rent to a male homosexual applicant?
a. The applicant’s credit rating is below the community’s required minimum standard for eligibility.
b. Concern that the applicant may have HIV/AIDS and expose other residents to infection risk.
c. Concern that the applicant’s sexuality won’t mesh with the “Christian values” of other residents.
Neighbors with young children complain about a lesbian tenant making out with her significant other in the lobby and other common areas of the building. What would you advise the landlord to do?
a. Ban the resident from being in public areas when kids are present.
b. Discreetly and politely ask the resident if she’d mind not engaging in public displays of affection in public areas.
c. Ban excessive displays of public affection (kissing, making out, etc.) in the public areas.
COACH’S ANSWERS & EXPLANATIONS
Correct answer: a
Reason: Rules #2 and #6 apply here:
Rule #2: Don’t Let Sexual Stereotypes Affect Your Decisions or Behavior
Rule #6: Beware of Steering
This scenario makes an important point that applies to not only LGBT-based discrimination, but also racial, religious, and all other forms of discrimination: The ban on discrimination requires you to provide equal, not preferential, treatment. In this case, the landlord would reject any applicant with a poor credit score regardless of their race, etc.; so, it can also reject the applicant. In other words, the fact that the applicant is a member of the LGBT community has no bearing on the decision to reject him. So, a. is the right answer.
Note: The only situation in which preferential treatment may be required is where a landlord must make reasonable accommodations for an applicant with a disability. But that exception doesn’t apply in this scenario.
Wrong answers explained:
b. The reason b. is wrong is that the landlord’s decision to reject the applicant is based on the stereotype about homosexual men that they have or are likely to have HIV/AIDS. And while sexual orientation is in no way considered a disability, having or being perceived as having a disease like HIV/AIDS is. Accordingly, if you make rental decisions on the basis of those perceptions, you commit disability discrimination, even if your perceptions are wrong.
c. Refusing to rent to applicants on the basis of their “comfort” or “fit” with other residents is illegal steering to the extent your assessment is based on the applicant’s race, religion, sex, etc. And that’s exactly what the landlord did in concluding that the applicant’s sexual preference was grounds for excluding him from a “Christian” community.
Correct answer: c
Reason: Rule #7 applies here:
Rule #7: Don’t Discriminate Against Your Current LGBT Residents
As a landlord, you have the right to set rules of behavior and use of building common areas and facilities. But those rules must be reasonable and nondiscriminatory. A rule banning public displays of affection is fairly defensible, provided that it applies to all persons. That’s not the case when the rule applies only to those of a particular race, religion, sex, etc. So, c. is the right answer.
Wrong answers explained:
a. The reason a. is wrong is that it denies the resident access to building public areas on the basis of sexual orientation. The fact that the ban is designed to protect children and limited to hours in which they’re present in the public areas doesn’t make the rule any less discriminatory.
b. At first blush, b. feels a little more acceptable because you’re asking and not demanding that the resident refrain from public displays of affection. But because that request singles out the resident on the basis of her lesbian sexuality, it’s discriminatory regardless of how politely and discreetly you phrase it.
See The Lesson For This Quiz
|Avoiding Discrimination on the Basis of Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity|