Civil Rights Complaint Filed against Woman for Seeking Christian Roommate

Civil Rights Complaint Filed against Woman for Seeking Christian Roommate

Posting an ad at your church that you are looking for a Christian roommate is evidently illegal in West Michigan.  Last July a 31-year-old woman did just that and is now facing a civil rights complaint that could include a punishment of several hundreds of dollars in fines and fair housing training.

“It’s a violation to make, print or publish a discriminatory statement, states Fair Housing Center of West Michigan Executive Director, Nancy Haynes.  She adds:  “There are no exemptions to that.”

The civil rights complaint filed against the roommate-seeking woman read in part that her advertisement “expresses an illegal preference for a Christian roommate, thus excluding people of other faiths.”

The woman’s attorney, Joel Oster, called the case “outrageous.”  He continued:  “Clearly this woman has a right to pick and choose who she wants to live with.  It is completely absurd to try to penalize a single Christian woman for privately seeking a Christian roommate at church—an obviously legal and constitutionally protected activity.”

Oster is an attorney that works with Alliance Defense Fund and they will be defending the woman free of charge.  The Fair Housing Center of West Michigan is not backing down, however, claiming that they “want to make sure it doesn’t happen again.” Harold Core, Michigan Department of Civil Rights, told the Grand Rapids Press that the Fair Housing Act prevents people from publishing an advertisement stating their preference of religion, race or handicap with respect to the sale or rental of a dwelling.

The complaint was filed by a person who saw the ad with the words “Christian Roommate Wanted” on the church bulletin board and then complained to the Fair Housing authorities.  It appears that political correctness now extends to who you can choose as a roommate.

To see more on this story go here.


The Michigan Department of Civil Rights (MDCR) has released a statement distancing themselves from this situation.  They MDCR has returned the complaint to Housing and Urban and Development.    To read their statement go here.

  • garry
    Posted at 10:59h, 28 October

    Who cares who complained…put the add up again and leave it up. Find out who filed the complaint and deal with that as well.
    Why are people deterred by such simple minded laws…who says you cannot advertise for a christian roomate. I dont read that anywhere in the bible that you cant advertise for a christian roomate! Advertise and keep advertising.

  • Kym
    Posted at 11:35h, 28 October

    I can’t really believe this. I hate how the US is trying to force people to think one way or the other by taking them to court. I hope this nonsense gets thrown out.

  • Bob
    Posted at 18:11h, 28 October

    The sad thing is that it was someone that was at the Church that filed the complaint.

  • Harvey Rosieur
    Posted at 22:04h, 28 October

    It is hard to believe the level of absurdity reached here. Would a non-Christian feel happy about applying? Of course not. They would not meet the criteria and are saved the trouble by the wording of the advertisement.( I wonder what would have happened if a Muslim had posted such an advertisement? Nothing, I suspect.) The proposed action against the advertiser the worst breach of human rights! Telling someone they have no right to decide with whom they will live. This is too much, and no-one should need to say so!

  • Andy (Toronto, Canada)
    Posted at 04:00h, 29 October

    I should add, too, that the Michigan Department of Civil Rights has distanced themselves from this case, so the report should be updated. Please see the following:

    “Michigan Department of Civil Rights Returns Discriminatory Housing Advertisement Complaint to HUD”,1607,7-138–246167–,00.html

  • Kay
    Posted at 19:18h, 04 November

    So, you can ask for a male or female roommate; you can say yes or no to pets; but you can’t ask for a Christian roommate? Absurd is an understatement!

  • Carly
    Posted at 18:26h, 28 October

    I’m looking for female Christian Roommates in Toronto, Canada for Dec 1/12. UH OH! Does that mean that the thought police are going to track me down now!? Absurd! This angers me! I pray that this case gets thrown out!

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