“You’re going to have to find another place to live. I didn’t know you were a homosexual.” These words still echo in mind today.
My name is Michael and I’m a student here at Shippensburg University.
Last year after deciding to go back to school, my husband and I tried to find a house close to campus. However, doing so ended up being harder than I thought.
The first place I found was very close to campus. However, the owner quickly found out that I’m married to a man. He refused to show us the place, let alone rent it to us, stating that my lifestyle compromised his morals and values.
After that shock, I contacted the borough in which this took place. I found out that there are no laws protecting us from housing discrimination.
Upon finding another potential house, we decided it was best not to share our marital status at first. Not even a week after we moved in, the landlord found out about our marriage.
“You’re going to have to find another place to live. I didn’t know you were a homosexual,” he said.
I was in disbelief and I couldn’t believe that this was happening — that even in 2019, LGBTQ people could be denied a place to live just because of who we are.
These two situations should not have been legally allowed to happen. No one should be denied housing, a job, or any other service just because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
This is why I asked Shippensburg University to take a firm stance against discrimination, not only here on campus but also in the community in which many students reside. I ask my fellow students, our faculty, and our administration, to help me bring about change in the borough of Shippensburg by getting involved in our local government.
The Shippensburg Borough Council is set to consider a nondiscrimination ordinance at their April meeting. Please make your voice heard in support. If you want to get involved, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.