Kicked out for being queer? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 03-17-2009, 12:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This morning I saw an email from our landlord in my inbox. We're being asked to leave b/c as she's put it, the apartment is big enough for a 4 person family, but only 3 if unrelated. ???

Apparently because we're queer she doesn't consider us a family. Isn't that lovely? What exactly can I do about this (who can I go to?). Isn't this illegal? We have sexual orientation discrimination laws in this town and state. But I'm not really sure what to do. Or if it's even worth it...she really dislikes us. But I can't imagine moving when I'm high-risk with my pregnancy. Ugh.

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#2 of 13 Old 03-17-2009, 12:21 PM
 
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Hi, I'm just lurking around the boards and I saw this. I just want to say I went to law school, and recently took the bar (still waiting on results! hope hope). Anyway, I can't give any specific legal advice (disclaimer disclaimer...sorry ) to you, but we studied this specific issue in constitutional law. Apparently, it is not unconstitutional to do this to groups of people who are not "related" (and you know I mean as recognized by the State, not as we would recognize it), but it would be unconstitutional to do it to say, a grandmother, her child, and grandkids kwim? Now, if your state or city has some specific sexual orientation discrimination bans, that may be different. My advice would be to contact a local attorney, preferably one who has some experience with this and see what can be done. You may be able to find one that would give a free consultation and then you can decide how to proceed from there....sorry to hear about this, but I HTH!

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#3 of 13 Old 03-17-2009, 12:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We do, in this town, have lots of laws protecting LGBT...I'm not sure if it protects families exactly, though.

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#4 of 13 Old 03-17-2009, 12:33 PM
 
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Hi Raene,

I'm so sorry this is happening to you. First, I'd look on the Human Rights Campaign and National Center for Lesbian Rights websites to see what the non-discrimination laws are in your state/city. Second, NY State recognizes same sex marriages performed in states where they are legal (such as MA). So I suppose a solution would be to go to MA and get married, if that's even possible financially and in terms of your timeline.

I hope that helps.

CJ

Professional nerd, DP to Megan and mommy to 3 y/o Bam Bam . TTC since January '09.  Welcomed our new babes May 22, 2011. Now living life in the NICU one day at a time.
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#5 of 13 Old 03-17-2009, 01:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by cejae View Post
Hi Raene,

I'm so sorry this is happening to you. First, I'd look on the Human Rights Campaign and National Center for Lesbian Rights websites to see what the non-discrimination laws are in your state/city. Second, NY State recognizes same sex marriages performed in states where they are legal (such as MA). So I suppose a solution would be to go to MA and get married, if that's even possible financially and in terms of your timeline.

I hope that helps.

CJ
We have set a date to do this for next month so that we can both be on the baby's birth certificate. Our lease runs out at the end of June, so maybe that's good enough...maybe not.

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#6 of 13 Old 03-17-2009, 01:51 PM
 
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Congratulations on your upcoming marriage! I hope that solves the situation. But still, to have to deal with a baby on the way and a seemingly insecure living situation is tough. Hang in there.

Professional nerd, DP to Megan and mommy to 3 y/o Bam Bam . TTC since January '09.  Welcomed our new babes May 22, 2011. Now living life in the NICU one day at a time.
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#7 of 13 Old 03-17-2009, 02:06 PM
 
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Raene,

I'm so sorry. I cannot believe that you have to deal with this right now.

You might consider sending her an email back noting that your city/town/state ordinances protect LGBT families from discrimination. Tell her that because your upcoming marriage will happen before the fourth person arrives, you will in fact all be "related." Finally, tell her that if she asks you to leave, she will be in violation of New York state law, which recognizes Massachusetts marriages.

Tell her you have a lawyer, and you are perfectly happy for your lawyer to talk to hers. Don't worry if you don't actually have one - sometimes the THREAT of legal action is enough to make people back down.


A, partner to J, mama to O, now with a new username!

Building queer family since 2008!

(and oh, did i mention we're having twins?!?)

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#8 of 13 Old 03-17-2009, 03:04 PM
 
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Originally Posted by AngelaM View Post
Raene,

I'm so sorry. I cannot believe that you have to deal with this right now.

You might consider sending her an email back noting that your city/town/state ordinances protect LGBT families from discrimination. Tell her that because your upcoming marriage will happen before the fourth person arrives, you will in fact all be "related." Finally, tell her that if she asks you to leave, she will be in violation of New York state law, which recognizes Massachusetts marriages.

Tell her you have a lawyer, and you are perfectly happy for your lawyer to talk to hers. Don't worry if you don't actually have one - sometimes the THREAT of legal action is enough to make people back down.

This advice, I believe, is totally brilliant!

So sorry you're going through this. Ugh!!!!!!

Mommy to an amazing 8 year old, wife to an inspiring principal, and welcoming Wylie Grace! Our July 4th babe!
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#9 of 13 Old 03-17-2009, 03:31 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AngelaM View Post
Raene,

I'm so sorry. I cannot believe that you have to deal with this right now.

You might consider sending her an email back noting that your city/town/state ordinances protect LGBT families from discrimination. Tell her that because your upcoming marriage will happen before the fourth person arrives, you will in fact all be "related." Finally, tell her that if she asks you to leave, she will be in violation of New York state law, which recognizes Massachusetts marriages.

Tell her you have a lawyer, and you are perfectly happy for your lawyer to talk to hers. Don't worry if you don't actually have one - sometimes the THREAT of legal action is enough to make people back down.

Brilliant advice!

dust.gifFour-eyed tattooed fairy godmother queer, mama to my lucky star (5) and little bird (2.5). Resident storyteller at www.thestoryforest.com. Enchanting audiostories for curious kids. Come play in the forest!
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#10 of 13 Old 03-17-2009, 03:38 PM
 
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I wonder what the laws are concerning her right to say how many people can live there. That might be an angle to pursue.

Good luck.

Lucy, mama to Silas and Adelaide
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#11 of 13 Old 03-17-2009, 06:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, Angela. I do think that's great advice. I will see how she responds.

Partnered mama with DD (01/04) and DD (08/09) and 8 critters, including a !
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#12 of 13 Old 03-18-2009, 01:49 PM
 
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Raene,

Let us know how it goes, okay?

A, partner to J, mama to O, now with a new username!

Building queer family since 2008!

(and oh, did i mention we're having twins?!?)

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#13 of 13 Old 03-18-2009, 11:32 PM
 
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http://www.hud.gov/local/ny/renting/tenantrights.cfm

Maybe this site would have some good info.
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