A 29-year-old Massachusetts veteran who served multiple tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan says it’s that very service that kept him from renting an apartment. He’s now suing the landlord, claiming she discriminated against him because of his military experience when she turned him down.
WBZ News in Boston cites voicemails the reporter listened to, in which the landlord tells the man why he wouldn’t be a good fit for the two-bedroom apartment.
“Because of what you told me about the Iraq war… we are very adamant about our beliefs… it’s just not comfortable for us… and I’m sure now that you know this, it would not be comfortable for you,” [the landlord] said in a voicemail to [the veteran].
“I would suggest you do the right thing and look for a place less politically active or controversial.”
“I’ve been deployed so many times, I really haven’t had much of a home,” the man, a divorced father, said. He’s training to be a Boston firefighter and needed a place to live in town.
He says all he wanted to do was give her a check, and rent an apartment, but now he’s shocked and confused.
“It really freaked me out that ‘Is this what I’m going to be facing? Should I not let people know that I’m a combat vet?’” He has since found another apartment to rent.
As WBZ notes, military service members and veterans are part of a protected class in Massachusetts and as such, cannot be discriminated against.
Anti-War Activist Refuses To Rent Apartment To Iraq-Afghanistan Vet [WBZ News Boston]