Anti-gay, anti-trans Realtor terminated from Keller Williams

rutkowskiCrossposted at Equality Loudoun

UPDATE: Here’s Vivianne’s original post as it appeared on January 25, shortly before she deleted it.

Last week I accidentally discovered a blog post“Loudoun County in Virginia going Gay, Lesbian and Transgender” – published shortly after the Board of Supervisors voted to revise the county’s Human Resources Policy Handbook in 2010.

Written by Vivianne Rutkowski (pictured at left), a local Realtor affiliated with Keller Williams in Leesburg, the post made the offensive, ridiculous assumption that prohibiting discrimination against LGBT county employees would have a negative effect on the Loudoun real estate market. It also contained very ignorant and defamatory language of the sort one hears from hate groups obsessed with public restroom use. Ms. Rutkowski’s response to criticism only made things worse.

I want to immediately say that the responsiveness of Keller Williams to this situation has been outstanding. None of Ms. Rutkowski’s superiors at the agency were aware of this post, and are very grateful to us for calling it to their attention. This has been treated as a very serious matter with the potential to do real damage to their reputation and that of the real estate profession as a whole.

Regional Director Tipper Williams in particular deserves praise for the way she has responded to this, which has been both professional (this is an internal personnel matter) and very apologetic. Ms. Williams has shared with me and others who contacted her that after meeting with her on Monday, Ms. Rutkowski’s association with Keller Williams has been terminated. That notification reads in part:

I wanted to formally notify you, as promised, the steps that were taken today regarding Vivianne Rutkowski. We have officially removed her as an agent with Keller Williams Realty. She has been notified and her license sent back to the Real Estate Commission. Although she was instructed last week to remove all logos and names that affiliated her with Keller Williams Realty, she must now legally comply as she is no longer affiliated with our company.

As I stated in our phone call, this type of unprofessional and destructive behavior will not be tolerated within my company.

Some people have asked me about the Keller Williams logo and affiliation still appearing on Ms. Rutkowski’s blog, as she was reportedly told to remove them on Friday along with the post. This is her personal real estate blog, and my speculation is that someone else set it up for her and she doesn’t know how to remove items from the sidebar. Her profile is still linked from the Keller Williams Leesburg website, but that’s because those links go to a corporate site not under the Leesburg office’s control. She has already been removed from their directory of associates.

I can’t say that I’m happy about someone losing their job, especially someone who seems completely oblivious about why what she did was wrong. I don’t know whether any learning took place during that meeting. I hope so.

I am happy that the good folks at Keller Williams immediately recognized the seriousness of and acted on this offensive expression of prejudice. What it shows is that being associated with such ideas is instantly understood as bad for business, and that the action by the Board of Supervisors is aligned with mainstream business viewpoints. If that is such a no-brainer to the private sector, I have to wonder why we tolerate such fringe ideas from some of our public officials.

As a separate matter, ethics charges have been brought against Ms. Rutkowski with her local Board of Realtors (the Dulles Area Association of Realtors) pursuant to the National Association of Realtors Code of Ethics. The complaint will go through a review process, then if warranted, on to a full hearing.

151 thoughts on “Anti-gay, anti-trans Realtor terminated from Keller Williams

  1. Loudoun Insider

    Uh-oh, I bet you’re going to get a big rally against this organized by Eugene Delgaudio and Dick Black! This is worse than the War on Christmas! Expect a BOS resolution soon – this goes against the Loudoun Is Open For Business directives of the new Board.

  2. Epluribusunum Post author

    Lol, that would be an interesting development, wouldn’t it? How much of a big rally do you think they could conjure up to protest a local small business firing an employee for inappropriate behavior that damages its reputation? And would the participants want their identities known? Maybe they can wear red bandannas over their faces.

    No, it would be challenging to reconcile Loudoun is Open For Business with Loudoun is Open For Bigotry – it’s just not a good business practice. That’s why all 100 firms on Fortune’s Best Companies To Work For list this year have non-discrimination policies that include sexual orientation.

  3. Vivianne Rutkowski

    Hello,
    I am Vivianne Rutkowski.
    I wanted to let you know that I welcome the opportunity to discuss this issue at my local Association of REALTORS and possibly on the National level. I genuinely believe there is a need to bring this issue to the light.

    Fair Housing Laws are designed to protect the constitutional rights of ALL citizens. Fair Housing Laws (and Equal Credit Opportunity Act) explicitly prohibit discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, age, sexual orientation, or dependency on public assistance. It means EVERY SINGLE AMERICAN.
    Most of all, Fair Housing Laws cannot negate The First Amendment Rights guaranteed by THE CONSTITUTION to EVERY SINGLE AMERICAN regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, age, or sexual orientation.

    For REALTORS, Fair Housing Laws mean that real estate agents cannot represent SELLERS who express desire to discriminate against anyone (= EVERY SINGLE PERSON) based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, age, or sexual orientation, not just protected classes. EVERY SINGLE PERSON.

    Fair Housing Laws also mean that home buyers have the LEGAL RIGHT guaranteed by THE CONSTITUTION to purchase a HOME that meets their criteria, lifestyle, interests in life, beliefs without interference from the government. Indeed, the real estate CONTRACT is structured in a way that allows home buyers to purchase their DREAM HOME, whatever that DREAM HOME means to an individual home buyer, regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, age, or sexual orientation.

    This is VERY important to understand.
    As a REALTOR I have a FIDUCIARY duty to my BUYER clients with whom I have signed a Buyer-Broker Agreement. My goal is to help them purchase their DREAM HOME, whatever that DREAM HOME means to them —- regardless of their race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, age, sexual orientation.

    My FIDUCIARY duty to the SELLERS is to help them prepare home for sale and market their home in order to attract the largest possible pool of potential buyers who are ready, willing and able to purchase at the price acceptable to the seller.

    Buyers are protected here by the Fair Housing Laws because Sellers cannot discriminate – listing agents who witness discriminatory behavior are obligated to report such illegal behavior. Sellers can deny an offer from the buyer based on the price or other terms in the offer, but sellers cannot discriminate based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, age, or sexual orientation.

    The federal laws prohibit real estate agents from giving legal advice, tax advice, crime statistics, school information, ethnic make up of the neighborhoods, etc. As REALTORS, we can only offer advice within the scope of our real estate license.

    This is why it is extremely important that home buyers understand what REALTORS can deliver as real estate professional and what they cannot deliver because they are NOT permitted by law. It means that REALTORS should provide resources so home buyers can do their own RESEARCH, whatever is required to purchase their DREAM HOME, whatever that DREAM HOME means to an individual home buyer, regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, age, or sexual orientation.

    Therefore, when REALTORS speak about Fair Housing Laws, we think about THE CONSTITUTION and THE RIGHTS guaranteed for EVERY CITIZEN. It means that every CITIZEN has the rights to make the choices that reflect their individual LIFESTYLE regardless of the race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, age, sexual orientation.

    Let me give you an example: If a home buyer makes the decision to move into Loudoun County BECAUSE they believe Loudoun to be a traditional, conservative county and they love the country lifestyle, it is my duty to let them know that Loudoun is NOT as *traditional* or *conservative* as they may think. I would be risking my LICENSE and a LAWSUIT if I did NOT inform them about it and that home buyer purchased a home without doing their DUE DILIGENCE. Home buyers have the right to make an INFORMED DECISION when they are purchasing their HOME, whatever their criteria are for their DREAM HOME, regardless of their race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, age, sexual orientation.

    There is NO LAW that prohibits home buyers from doing DUE DILIGENCE when purchasing a HOME – more, the LAW expects the home buyers to do their DUE DILIGENCE in the purchase of their HOME, regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, age, sexual orientation.

    Unfortunately, your case proves how minority can literally hijack the system and even attempt to violate THE CONSTITUTION itself denying the rights for the majority. More, you prove how minority can PARALYZE WITH FEAR the entire population and seemingly intelligent people like real estate agents and brokers who should understand the true essence of Fair Housing Laws.

    YES, there is a great need to speak, write, and publicize this issue. Before it is too late.

    The lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people are already enjoying the full protection under the federal laws. Home Buyers, Sellers and real estate agents deserve the same and no less:
    http://viviannerutkowski.wordpress.com/2012/01/30/hud-to-extend-discrimination-protections-for-lesbian-gay-bisexual-and-transgender-people-in-federally-supported-housing-programs/

  4. mosborn

    “If a home buyer makes the decision to move into Loudoun County BECAUSE they believe Loudoun to be a traditional, conservative county and they love the country lifestyle, it is my duty to let them know that Loudoun is NOT as *traditional* or *conservative* as they may think.”

    I’d love to know how you, Vivianne Rutkowski, determined that Loudoun was not “traditional” (a euphemism, as far as I’m concerned, for “prejudiced and bigoted”) or “conservative”? Did the county not just vote to elect an entirely Republican BOS?

    The argument that it’s your duty to define the political culture of entire county and paint it with one subjective brush for your clients seems like smoke and mirrors to hide what, in the end, is just YOUR belief about the county.

  5. Epluribusunum Post author

    Ms. Rutkowski,

    Thank you for sharing the brand new HUD non-discrimination rule, and demonstrating that until just a few days ago such protections did not exist. Congratulations also for managing to share that information on your blog without using derogatory language about LGBT people. That is a marked improvement over the post that caused you these problems.

    It’s unfortunate that after speaking with your leadership team you still don’t understand what you did wrong. This has nothing to do with Fair Housing law. This is about your improper discussion of a non-discrimination policy as negatively impacting the character of Loudoun County as a place to live, and your use of offensive and defamatory language to describe some members of the Loudoun community.

    Your example demonstrates the prejudice that is blinding you. The fact is that many of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people who have moved to Loudoun County did so precisely because they have conservative values and love the country lifestyle. They want to raise their kids in a suburban or rural environment with decent public schools. That’s why I moved here.

    It seems to me that you are using the phrase “they believe Loudoun to be a traditional, conservative county and they love the country lifestyle” as code for something else, perhaps “they are prejudiced against LGBT people.” What do you think?

    Let me give you another example. Loudoun County is also very diverse in terms of its faith communities. Suppose that you were to publish a post reporting on the approval of construction plans for a Sikh temple or a Mosque, and discussing the presence of men and women in traditional Sikh or Muslim clothing in derogatory terms that confused the two and showed that you had no idea what you were talking about. Suppose further that you defiantly claimed that it was your duty to report this because people may believe that Loudoun County is nearly exclusively Christian, and that they have the RIGHT to make an INFORMED decision about the purchase of their DREAM HOME.

    You would have been terminated for that, too.

    You embarrassed your broker and your company. I think you should continue discussing this with people, because in so doing you may eventually understand. I have no interest in vengeance, and I’m not happy that you lost your job over this. I just wish there had been some growth in your understanding.

  6. Loudoun Insider

    Wow. She does need Eugene and Dick to come to her rescue. Expect a post at Public Advocate real soon.

    Vivianne, please contact Eugene Delgaudio and Dick Black, they will help you fight this tremendous problem.

  7. Fionnuala

    Viv, I already told you on your blog post that you deleted that you overuse CAPS. Seriously. Enough already. Also, I am a web architect. I, too, can help you remove all the Keller Williams information from your blog.

    What if your buyers told you that their “DREAM HOME” needed to be in a neighborhood that was devoid of Polish people, Ms. Rutkowski? What would you say then?

    Anyway, I definitely think you should bring this issue to the larger body of Realtors. Because clearly, you’ve not learned anything yet. Perhaps they can educate you better than we have.

  8. Dave Nemetz

    LI said, “Expect a post at Public Advocate real soon. ”

    I can already see the wording in Eugene’s next fundraising email: “she was a sacrificial lamb on the altar of the militant, leftist LGBT agenda”. Or “I wept when I thought of her losing her job as her brokerage bowed to the demands of the radical LGBT community”. And “Please send a donation of $25, $50, or $100 so we can stop this encroachment on our traditional values.”

    Gag.

  9. Skipernicus

    Ms. Rutkowski,

    Respectfully, you sell buildings and land. it is neither your place nor duty to manage the expectations of the buyers idea of a dream community.

    It is unreasonable to expect that you could be in a position to guarantee the neighbors will be of a particular race, creed, religion or orientation. Unless, you’re the owner of all the adjacent properties.

  10. Loving The Country Lifestyle

    (with apologies to John Denver, rest in peace)

    Well life on the farm is kinda laid back
    Aint much an old country boy like me cant hack
    Unless it’s two men together in the sack
    Thank God I’m a country boy

    Well a simple kinda life never did me no harm
    There ain’t no gays within the reach of an arm
    I see one a-comin’ and I sound the alarm
    Thank God I’m a country boy

    There used to be girl here who was born as a dude
    ‘Round these here parts, that kind of thing is lewd
    We ran him out of of town cause we were in the mood
    Thank God I’m a country boy

    Well I got me a fine wife I got me an Uzi
    When the suns comin up I see only those like me
    Life aint nothin but heteronormativity
    Thank God I’m a country boy

  11. Elder Berry

    Ms. Rutkowski, you clearly do not understand a whit of the pledge that is part of membership in the National Association of Realtors as it pertains to avoiding discrimination in advertising and in representing clients.

    The National Board of Realtors has determined that member Realtors must NOT discuss “community characteristics” of the sort you feel you must describe which are covered by federal anti-discrimination policies, rules and legislation. Thus you can indeed hold such discussions and indulge your first amendment rights of free speech all you want, but you cannot do it and be a member of the Board of Realtors (which I think is the end result that is going to come out of this).

    Perhaps you are too young to remember how discussions of “community characteristics” led to those characteristics now being covered by anti-discrimination statutes.

    Or perhaps you do know about those days and you are just stupid and bigoted.

    In any case, now you’ve learned that such discriminatory behavior has consequences, because like your former employer Keller Williams (more power to them), most people even in Loudoun County will not put up with your kind of discriminatory attitude, and the NAR has stated in their pledge that they certainly won’t.

  12. Dick's Neighbor

    My positive spin on all this; if Ms. Rutkowski was my realtor, then perhaps I could avoid living in the same subdivision as Dick Black?! And if Dick Black had used her as a realtor he would not be living two blocks from me!!

  13. michelle

    It is refreshing to see a company take a stance for what is right. Obviously this could hurt them as much as help them. Yet, rather than “playing politician” they made a bold move. Kudos to Ms. Williams.

  14. Elder Berry

    Well, KW needed to do something right since if I recall correctly when they arrived in Loudoun the first agent I heard of who was with them was Dale Polen Myers. That put me off them right away. Now they’ve redeemed themselves.

  15. Elder Berry

    Hey, did you notice she’s talking about “true essence” so I wonder if this is really a web version of Dr. Strangelove. Up to now I’d thought it was Clueless.

  16. Liberal Anthropologist

    Vivianne,

    I am a traditional conservative living in Loudoun County. And I think you are sadly mistaken in your logic. You do not understand the nature of your job or your fiduciary duties. You made a terrible error and don’t seem to get it. As one of the posters on this thread who posts on a conservative blog, I hope you keep the dialog going here. Almost all of us on this thread are straight (Well at least I know a few are) and some are conservatives. And we all think you were very, very wrong.

  17. Epluribusunum Post author

    Michelle, Keller Williams does deserve kudos for taking such swift action, but I don’t think it’s true that it could hurt them as much as help them. Their communications with me indicate that this was a no-brainer for them – their only thought was that this was a horrible, embarrassing thing for their name to be associated with, and genuine pain at the thought that anyone had been hurt by it.

    What kind of person would actually hold this action against them, and claim that what Ms. Rudkowski did was acceptable? Ok, that may have been a rhetorical question.

  18. Liberal Anthropologist

    Ms. Rudkowski,

    Fair Warning. In the next few days I will be writing a post about this over at http://www.tooconservative.com It is important that you and others understand that your kind of thinking does not represent conservative (or traditional) values held by the majority of conservatives. I will be quoting you from here, so I suggest you continue the dialog with these folks so I can present fully and fairly your thinking. That site has a lot more traffic than this one and a lot more conservatives read it.

    I would hate to think that rubbish you wrote in this comments section is your last word on the subject.

  19. Epluribusunum Post author

    Thanks for picking this up, LA. I have a feeling she’s not reading this, though. She just accused Equality Loudoun of deleting her comment over there yesterday – but she never made a comment there yesterday (well, technically what she calls her “second attempt” was at 11:59pm). Since she says she has a screenshot of her previous comment, she must be confusing this blog with that one.

    I left her the following comment on her post about the HUD regulations at 9:53am yesterday. It is still in moderation.

    “..and protect ALL citizens and legal residents, not only minorities.”

    That is correct, and is often reported inaccurately because members of the majority are rarely discriminated against. Non-discrimination laws and policies protect ALL people on the basis of a personal characteristic, not specific categories of people. Heterosexual people, cisgender people, caucasian people, Christians, etc, are all equally protected under the law.

    She also never took me up on my offer to help her remove the Keller Williams logo and affiliation from her website, which she was ordered to do and is now required by law to do, but are still there nearly one week later.

    So it looks like the defiance continues apace. I very much look forward to your post.

  20. Vivianne Rutkowski

    It all comes down to THE CONSTITUTION – yes, that piece of paper that we all like to recall at least once a year, around 4th of July.

    The decision Keller Williams made – without ever contacting me and asking me for my views of the topic – speaks volumes and only proves that Keller Williams Realty has NO BASIC understanding what Fair Housing Laws are. They should go back and attend some of the mandatory classes for REALTORS. They would learn that:

    1) FAIR HOUSING LAWS INCLUDE EVERYONE, regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, age, or sexual orientation.
    2) Fair Housing Laws do not protect minorities alone, but include ALL citizen of this great land.
    3) National Association of REALTORS included the language in its REALTOR Code of Ethics in 2009 to comply with the FEDERAL LAWS

    All of that means that now minorities cannot be discriminated against. It means that sellers CANNOT refuse to sell their home, even if the LIFESTYLE of the person they are selling their home to violates their beliefs or values – sellers can refuse to ratify a contract based on the TERMS in the OFFER.

    It means that REALTORS cannot refuse to represent a buyer or a seller based on their LIFESTYLE, even if that lifestyle violates REALTOR’s personal beliefs and values – REALTOR can refuse to represent a client based on behavior and attitude, or whenever SAFETY is an issue.

    The inclusion of LGBT people – Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender – in Fair Housing Laws DOES NOT take away the rights of HOME BUYERS to purchase their HOME that reflects their LIFESTYLE …. and YES, their BELIEFS and VALUES, whatever their lifestyle, beliefs and values are.

    Unless, THE CONGRESS passes a LAW that home buyers have NO LEGAL RIGHT to purchase a HOME that reflects their individual decision and that home buyers have NO LEGAL RIGHT to do their DUE DILIGENCE ….. until then, FORTUNATELY home buyers can purchase a home that makes them HAPPY.

    Real estate is all about the HAPPINESS of the HOMEOWNERS.

    While as a real estate agents, we CANNOT give our clients CRIME, SCHOOL, NEIGHBORHOOD statistics, the least we can do is to DISCLOSE to home buyers that real estate agents are prohibited from discussing those issues and they – home buyers – need to do their own research, including knocking on the doors to meet their neighbors.

    IF you do NOT like those laws, make CONGRESS change them …… IF you believe that THE CONSTITUTION gives too many rights to certain people.

    Until then, LET FREEDOM RING!

  21. A.E. Gnat

    Ms. Rutowski, this isn’t about the Constitution. You equating this situation with the Constitution reminds me of the scene in Animal House where Otter says, “I put it to you, Greg – isn’t this an indictment of our entire American society? Well, you can do whatever you want to us, but we’re not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America. Gentlemen!”

    And then they all walk out, humming the Star-Spangled Banner. If you have seen Animal House, you’ll get it. But I digress.

    It’s a lot simpler than that.

    You expressed a prejudiced viewpoint on your real estate blog. Now you are trying to claim that you a merely informing people, but some of the content in your blog entry (preserved here forever and ever even though you deleted it) is editorial, as opposed to informational. For example:

    “The supervisors spent about one hour – yes, not even a full hour – before casting the votes, according to Loudoun Times Mirror.

    Legally, it means that men who like to dress as women can be found in the ladies’ public restrooms and transgender women can be found in men’s public restrooms.

    Is legalizing medical marijuana next on the table?

    A bigger question is: did the taxpayers and citizens of this great county have their say in that decision?”

    The above is editorial content. It is injecting your opinion. As a Realtor, your opinion on the Board’s vote is not relevant, and should not have been expressed in your blog entry.

    It was. And that reflected poorly on your employer. So they fired you.

    Pretty simple, really.

  22. liberal anthropologist

    Vivianne,

    Could you please cite the portions of the constitution that you think support your position? Which part refers at the federal level to housing? This will be the primary angle of my analysis of what appears to be clearly distorted thinking about government and the nature of fiduciary duty.

    Speaking of which, can you clarify the bounds of your fiduciary duty?

    And can you do it WITHOUT CAPS?

    I am genuinely trying to understand your thinking. It seems the core of it is a belief that constitutional rights of the majority are being infringed. What rights in the constitution are you referencing?

  23. Sanity

    Clearly Ms. Rutkowski disagrees with the previous Board’s position on adding LGBT to the government’s hiring policy. Ok. So what does that have to do with Fair Housing Laws or the First Amendment? I’m confused. Maybe all the CAPITAL LETTERS are addling my brain.

  24. A.E. Gnat

    Oh, and one other thing, Vivianne… that document that we all recall on the 4th of July is called the “Declaration of Independence.” That is why it is called “INDEPENDENCE DAY,” not “CONSTITUTION DAY.”

    Apologies for the CAPS.

  25. Vivianne Rutkowski

    @A.E. Gnat,

    Please, learn to READ before you comment – 3rd grade elementary students are required to demonstrate some basic reading skills.

    Where did I write that 4th of July celebrates The Constitution Day?

    I wrote: “It all comes down to THE CONSTITUTION – yes, that piece of paper that we all like to recall at least once a year, around 4th of July.” – because there would be no Constitution if there was no 4th of July……

  26. Epluribusunum Post author

    I think that Keller Williams has now removed Ms. Rutkowski from all web pages that they have direct control over – it is now up to her to make sure their name and logo is removed from the other two. Whether she is unable to or is just being defiant, I don’t know – but she is inviting legal action on top of the ethics charges already pending if she doesn’t do something about it.

  27. Vivianne Rutkowski

    “Where do I find a REALTOR that will WARN ME if I am about to BUY a house next to Ms. RUTKOWSKI?”

    @BlackOut,

    This is YOUR right guaranteed by The Constitution and Fair Housing Laws – I respect your rights. Could you respect mine?

    And ALL the other Home Buyers’ rights to purchase a HOME without the government interference.

  28. Liberal Anthropologist

    “And ALL the other Home Buyers’ rights to purchase a HOME without the government interference.”

    Vivianne,

    You really are confused. I am in favor of limiting government. I can’t recall anyone here advocating the government tell buyers what to do. So what are you talking about?

    You have acted offensively and tried to defend it by arguing it is constitutional to be offensive? Well…. yes it is. But who said otherwise?

    Please answer directly the questions you have been asked by people. I understand you may be upset. But we are trying to understand you. You are not answering some basic things.

    Not only my questions, but some interesting points on home values and certain areas. I think your original post was arguing that being more LGBT (or whatever the acronym is these days) would negatively impact home values? That is pretty offensive. So if you are going to make such a bold statement, how about backing it up. You’re an agent. Where is the data supporting declining home values in such circumstances?

  29. Amanda Huggenkiss

    For the record, my partner and I bought our current home in Leesburg from another Keller Williams agent (who went above and beyond the call of duty for us), so Vivianne Rutkowski’s actions are not representative of KW as a whole.

    Full disclosure: We bought our home a little over a year ago for $400K and it’s now worth $540K, so the claim that LGBT folks pose a threat to anyone’s property values is a load of hogwash and malarkey.

  30. Vivianne Rutkowski

    “Full disclosure: We bought our home a little over a year ago for $400K and it’s now worth $540K, so the claim that LGBT folks pose a threat to anyone’s property values is a load of hogwash and malarkey.”
    @ Amanda,

    It is very interesting.
    Some neighborhoods in Leesburg decreased slightly in value and some increased in value by about 0.5%-1% in 2011.
    However, your home appreciated by over 30% ….. you did not rob the seller, did you? That would not be nice. The honest thing is to pay a FAIR market price.

    What was the name of your KW agent?

  31. Amanda Huggenkiss

    @Vivianne,

    We did not rob anyone. We paid exactly what the home was for sale for, no more no less, which is fair. We have also spent a nontrivial amount of money making renovations and improvements to our home to make it look… fabulous.

    This is no surprise: When we sold our previous residence, one of the big reasons the buyer bought it was because it was immaculate and obviously well taken care of. So I sincerely doubt our neighbors mind that a quiet LGBT couple has moved into their neighborhood and is improving property values.

    If you feel it is your Constitutional right to warn people away from whatever imaginary threats you believe LGBT folks who take care of their homes pose, that’s your prerogative. But it’s not very nice and not very honest and most of all not very professional behavior for a Realtor. The bottom line is you were insulting and offensive to the LGBT residents of Loudoun County.

    But I guess it all works out in the end. I am suddenly reminded of Abigail Van Buren’s response to a reader who complained that a gay couple was moving in across the street and wanted to know what he could do to improve the quality of the neighborhood:

    “You could move.”

    -:)

  32. A.E. Gnat

    “And ALL the other Home Buyers’ rights to purchase a HOME without the government interference.”

    I don’t understand where the government interference is here. I don’t understand how the BoS protecting certain classes with respect to employment interferes with anyone’s right to purchase a home.

    Let’s say Sally, a lesbian woman, accepts a job with the county. She purchases a home in the county. Then let’s say that Mary, a woman who is prejudiced against LGBT people, had her eye on a certain home in Sally’s subdivision. Mary is free to purchase the home, or not purchase the home, using whatever criteria she likes, including prejudice against LGBT people. She is allowed that under the law.

    Mary can buy a home where she likes, and so can Sally. Yay. Kumbaya.

    Perhaps it’s my sub-3rd-grade reading comprehension skills that you referenced above, but I am missing the part where the government interferes with Mary’s rights.

    Could you explain, Vivianne, where the government interference is in the above scenario?

  33. Epluribusunum Post author

    Vivianne, you also still haven’t answered the very key question you’ve been asked several times at Equality Loudoun: Where did you learn what you know about LGBT people? And where did you see or hear the language you used in your post?

    Do you not know, or are you refusing to answer this question?

  34. Liz Miller

    Park Slope, in Brooklyn, NY, has one of the highest concentrations of LGBT families with kids in the nation.

    It also has some of the highest housing prices in NYC, which has some of the highest housing prices in the nation.

    People really, really, really love living in that neighborhood. In 1969, these houses went for less than $50,000. And now they go for over 2.5 million.

    The majority of that rise has been since the area has been seen as LGBT friendly. I don’t think that’s a coincidence.

  35. Amanda Huggenkiss

    @Vivianne,

    I don’t understand your assumption that conservative families will move to neighboring counties because Loudoun has LGBT people in it. There are LGBT people in neighboring counties as well. What happens when your clients buy in the next county over next to a gay couple? By your logic, you could be brought into court for that as well. Oh no!

    Like it or not, LGBT people are everywhere, not just in Loudoun. So maybe you could use your skills as a Realtor to help people who don’t want LGBT neighbors to move to another planet. That to me sounds like a win-win situation.

    Wishing you best of luck in your new career.

  36. Epluribusunum Post author

    Amanda, the way I read Vivianne’s thought process, as long as she lets them know that in the next county over gay people can be legally fired from their county jobs, she has helped them to make an INFORMED decision and performed her FIDUCIARY duty. So it’s cool.

    I like your suggestion, though.

  37. Elder Berry

    I wonder if we may soon see Vivianne standing at the Loudoun border somewhere holding up a sign that says “Warning, Gays Ahead”.

    A sad, sad case of right-wing fundamentalist homophobic brain rot.

  38. Loudoun Insider

    Hilarious vision, EB!

    What I want to know is why Eugene and Dick have not come to her rescue yet. After all, she is just fighting against the same homosexual scourge that they also battle against every day.

    Hey Eugene, maybe it wasn’t illegal immigrants that turned Sterling into a cesspool, maybe it was THE GAYS!

  39. Susan MacEwen

    Wow, what a Fire Storm this is! I would love to read the original blog post, but it is now set to private so I can’t read it to comment; however, I would like to say something about Keller Williams since I am affiliated with this brand in Augusta, GA.
    Keller Williams Realty has a belief of Win-Win or no Deal and a corporate culture of doing what is right. As for the agents they hire: all agents are “contracted labor” and are not employees of the company. Each Keller Williams office is independently owned and operated.
    All real estate agents that are members of the National Association of Realtors are subject to the rules and regulations set forth with that association and only those members have the authority to use the designation of Realtor.
    Good luck to all!

  40. Elder Berry

    Maybe she didn’t contribute to Eugene or Dick. Because remember it takes something out of one to fight the scourge and they have to conserve their precious essences for the most worthy.

  41. J Philip Faranda

    As a broker-owner, I can understand KW’s decision to remove the agent. I would have done the same, and no discussion would have redeemed the them.

    For the non licensees out there, one of the mortal sins for a real estate agent is the fair housing violation of “steering,” which occurs when the agent influences a client away from or toward an area due to a variety of things like school ratings, crime statistics, or the ethnic makeup of the community. In short, if a client were to say “I want to live in the conservative area,” they’d get “the talk” which says basically “I can’t help you in that way.”

    For an agent to even factor in that gay people live or don’t live in an area is completely antithetical to our job and in fact a serious enough violation to merit dismissal 100% of the time and a recommendation that the person seek other lines of work.

  42. Rick Sergison

    All I can say is that, as a member of Keller Williams Realty, after reading Ms. Rutkowski’s original blog post, I am grateful that she was terminated and that I am not affiliated with her and her comments. Once you read the original blog post, any further justification is simply that – justification. My definition of justifying something? Lying to yourself.

  43. Interested

    Any agent who knew Vivianne Rutkowski and stands up now to condemn her should be looked at closely. Her bigotry is obviously well practiced. Any professional in her office would have had their head buried deeply in the sand not to notice or report it before now.

    Where were those agents’ ethics when Ms. Rutkowski was failing to abide by the professional standard? Some may say better late than never in uncovering this prejudice, but if her fellow professionals had done the right thing in the first place, the truth would be their ally. As it is, their condemnation looks pretty self serving and rings hollow.

  44. Epluribusunum Post author

    Interested, if you worked in that brokerage and have personal knowledge of wrongdoing, you should come forward. If not, I’m not sure that either one of us can know whether someone else should have been aware of this behavior. All I know is that those I talked to at Keller Williams were horrified by it and grateful that it was brought to their attention.

  45. Liberal Anthropologist

    EPU, thanks for posting that link to the original post including the comments before she deleted it. It is very enlightening how she handled the first comment.

  46. Wayne Harriman

    This was surely not the smartest career move someone could make. What I don’t understand is, if she wrote the post in January 2010, why did it take 2 years for people to take her to task for it?

  47. Vivianne Rutkowski

    >>>Shows you how slow the traffic on her blog was.<<<

    @ Liberal,

    Quite to the contrary: My blog is very informative – mostly real estate statistics.
    During the last 3 years I posted over 700 blogs and had almost 111,000 visitors – 110,749 to be exact as of February 5, 2012.

    The fact is I have a VERY CLEAN RECORD and nothing that you do, write or say can change that.

  48. Liberal Anthropologist

    “The fact is I have a VERY CLEAN RECORD”

    Then why was your relationship with KW terminated? Why are you facing an investigation?

  49. Vivianne Rutkowski

    The fact that Keller Williams Realty made the decision they did does NOT make it RIGHT and it certainly does NOT prove that I violated Fair Housing Laws or REALTOR Code of Ethics – it just means they took an easy way out instead of showing some INTEGRITY.

  50. Elder Berry

    Vivianne, try this: say to yourself, “what I did was wrong.” Just take that as a starting point. Don’t argue. Just take it. (For argument sake. Sort of like saying, ” Take A squared plus B squared equals C squared.”)

    Now look at what you did and try to figure out how it was wrong.

    Consider it a test and you will be failing until you can say “I know why what I did was wrong”.

  51. TRW

    wow Vivienne! You don’t get it at all. I to am a KW agent in GA and so glad you are not assoc with this company any longer. I read through all the posts and agree with much that has been stated. You have been asked numerous times to answer specific questions but instead you keep harping on the govt, housing laws and the Constitution. Read through them again and honestly answer the questions. And what’s up with all the CAPS??

  52. Arlington Agent

    Vivianne, you are violating the Fair Housing Act over and over in your blog posts and comments. Have you not kept up with your continuing education? Did you sleep through the Ethics and Fair Housing classes?

    You keep defending home buyers and sellers’ rights, but are forgetting your obligations as a Realtor® are different. We cannot steer people to or from neighborhoods based on demographics. We cannot discuss the demographic nature of potential neighbors. That is the essence of the Fair Housing act. That is exactly what you are doing by saying property values will go down because LBGT people can’t be fired in Loudoun because of their sexual orientation and by saying Loudoun is perhaps not the “conservative” community people may think. Do you know anything about the civil rights movement? Did you remember anything about your Fair Housing classes and the definitions like “steering” and “blockbusting?” That is what you are doing in these posts. Ever heard of Jim Crow? Same thing now applies to the LBGT community. What you have done, and continue to do, is a blatant Fair Housing violation and as a Realtor myself, I am devastated that you cannot see it. Your ignorance is just pitiful. Kudos to Keller Williams for firing you immediately.

  53. Vivianne Rutkowski

    >>>For the non licensees out there, one of the mortal sins for a real estate agent is the fair housing violation of “steering,” which occurs when the agent influences a client away from or toward an area due to a variety of things like school ratings, crime statistics, or the ethnic makeup of the community.<<<

    @Faranda,

    Who gave you your broker license???
    Did you bribe someone to get it??? Did some one else pass the exam for you???

    You do NOT know the DETAILS, yet you are accusing me of *steering* – BTW, you just violated REALTOR Code of Ethics.

    Contrary to what was written here I did NOT violate Fair Housing Laws or The REALTOR Code of Ethics. Just because all the ACTIVISTS with a LGBT AGENDA would like a mere posting a blog to be a violation, it does not mean it is.

    Fair Housing Laws protect ALL citizens and legal residents of this great land, not only minorities.
    Discrimination is prohibited against any person, black or white, gay or straight, single or married.
    Finally, sexual orientation includes ALL people. If you are straight that is your sexual orientation.

    Therefore, ALL Home Buyers have the LEGAL right to purchase a HOME that reflects their LIFESTYLE, SYSTEM OF BELIEFS, or MORAL VALUES, regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, or sexual orientation.

  54. Vivianne Rutkowski

    Virginia licensing laws require real estate agents and brokers to include the name and address of their brokerage whenever they write anything as real estate agents – any of you who posted here as real estate agents anonymously violated Virginia licensing laws.

    Any of you who posted PRETENDING to be real estate agents, you just committed a crime – no less as if you pretended to be a doctor without having a doctor license or if you put on a police officer’s uniform without being a police officer.

  55. Liberal Anthropologist

    Vivianne,

    Have you ever been asked by a client to avoid neighborhoods with gay people? What did you say? We all really want to hear more of your perspective.

  56. BlackKnight

    Yo, Liberal Anthropologist, you remind me of lawyer Jonathon Moseley – that guy stops at nothing. This guy throws sleaze at people until they get caught in his wicked web, the game he plays with people.
    I have to say this girl is smart :-)
    Don’t know her, never did business with her, but dude give it up. I know some black people who don’t like lgbt folks.

    Since we are on the topic could you explain to me what bisexuals do. I know lesbians don’t like men, gays don’t like women, transexuals change their sex or gender, i don’t know which one.
    But what bisexuals do? Maybe i’m slow, but I just don’t get it.

  57. BlackKnight

    ok, i make it easier for you, here is were i’m confused.
    say man has a wife and he is bisexual, what does it mean?
    or say woman has a husband and she is bisexual, what does it mean?
    I dont want to ask my friends because i know they will laugh at me, but i just dont get it.

  58. liberal anthropologist

    I just am trying to understand her better.

    Why do some black people not like LGBT folks?

    As to bi’s…. they like males and females.

  59. liberal anthropologist

    On your example, it means they have committed themselves to that person of a particular sex. They still can feel attracted to either sex. Just like a Herero guy can be married and still be attracted to more women.

  60. BlackKnight

    ok, dont pull bull on me.
    I’m married, i respect and adore my wife, but i think there are other attractive beautiful women in this world. I’m sure my wife met men that she thought were smart, good looking and attractive.
    Ya, so what. we respect the vows, genuinely LOVE each other and would never cheat.

    i asked you a question and you dance around it.
    what happens if bisexual husband cheats on his wife?
    or bisexual wife cheats on her husband?

  61. BlackKnight

    also what you are telling me is people should DISCRIMINATE when it comes to marriage ….. better know the person you are marrying or stay single……. cause you can find yourself being married to bisexual and if your straight it can be a problem.
    just saying.

  62. BlackKnight

    i never thought i would say that but the way i see it CELIBACY is back. dude you better know who your sex partner is. if your smart make it about LOVE but the way thing are even love can blind and you can end up with a wrong person.

    i’m not a catholic but i believe in VIRGINITY at least until you found the right person.

  63. BlackKnight

    i met guys who i thought were outrageously handsome and was tickled by their sight but that’s not attraction, it’s just stating the fact they were handsome.

    i’m sure my wife met women who were drop dead gorgeous and was awed by their beauty but that’s not attraction, it’s just stating the fact.

    no wonder folks are worried about children in schools and the stuff you teach them there.

  64. Liberal Anthropologist

    “i asked you a question and you dance around it.
    what happens if bisexual husband cheats on his wife?
    or bisexual wife cheats on her husband?”

    I am not dancing. I am trying to answer. I think the answer to this question is the same as in any relationship when cheating happens. Trust is lost. A person who is bisexual female and marries a male and promises to be faithful should never cheat with a man or a woman. She will forever not act on attraction to females (or even other males). It is the same as your case.

    As to teaching stuff in schools, I don’t have anything to do with schools and generally oppose spending much time on issues like this in school. There is plenty to learn in the realm of science and math that is not getting through well. Or even reading. This stuff is peripheral. I am sure there are several on this site who would disagree.

    So you have me pegged wrong. I want schools to make more practical educational paths and less soft or liberal arts classes.

    I have a BFA (fine arts) degree by the way, so I understand truly soft education. The world needs more engineers and scientists. Not more artists and social sciences people.

    You didn’t really answer my question. Why do some black folks not like LGBT people?

  65. BlackKnight

    “I have a BFA (fine arts) degree by the way, so I understand truly soft education. The world needs more engineers and scientists. Not more artists and social sciences people.”

    @ liberal
    what do you call “soft” education??? just wondering……
    how is studying history, literature, fine art, or religion soft education?

    we need people who study in depth all aspects of life so as a society we have a good understanding what is happening around is and where we are going as a society here in our journey on earth.

    don’t you think you are biased and have a very skewed understanding of life?
    why should people subject themselves to your skewed view of life?
    just saying.

  66. BlackKnight

    why?
    I think that some of them believe that marriage is between man and a woman.

    why is it important to you?
    do you want to make it a crime to be straight, do you?
    it’s not illegal to be straight, is it? i didn’t hear about no laws that congress passed that forbid folks to be straight. i had no time to watch news lately so dont know. you tell me.

  67. BlackKnight

    and dont criminalize black folks here cause many white folks dont believe in that lgbt stuff either.
    some white folks think marriage is between a man and a woman. what’s your beef with that?
    i’m straight and i want my kids to be straight. and don’t want your kind to teach my kids wrong stuff and mess with their minds. what’s your beef with that?

  68. Liberal Anthropologist

    BK,

    Nobody wants to make being straight illegal. Are you related to Vivianne? You have similar clarity of thought.

  69. BlackKnight

    i dont know… you tell me.
    cause, heck, you are not main stream here in us.

    this is what you wrote on tooconservative:

    “It hurts nobody if 2 women and a man get married or if two men and a woman get married or if 3 women and two men get married. They will anyway. Laws don’t stop bigamy. They just drive it underground and give them trouble for no good reason.”

    here you write that you are muslim married under shariah law:

    “The thing that worries me is that my only official marriage document is from a Shariah court. Everything else is a translation. I have had to provide that document in the US occasionally and everyone has recognized it. Would this law stop them from recognizing I am married?”
    http://www.tooconservative.com/?p=12146&cpage=1#comment-215198

    so you tell me who you really are cause i can tell you that much i dont want you as my neighbor or my kids learn all this wrong stuff from your kids.

  70. BlackKnight

    here is what you wrote on zillow.com to explain why you are hiding like a COWARD behind a anonymous gravatar – i know cause i was there:

    ” I have long posted under this moniker. It is common on political blogs to use handles as many people have employers who prohibit political postings, or do business with the government, or have relatives who are in government or are in government themselves.

    You are welcome to discount my take because of my anonymity if you wish, but it won’t change my words or whether what you did was or was not ethical.

    And I am a guy. And straight in case you aren’t reading carefully.”

    FOLKS, here is your TAX $$$ at work….
    are you telling me that you work for the government and this is how our tax $$$ are spent ….. this should be brought to the attention of the us congress… cause all straight folks out there we are digging our own grave and we are too stupid to know it… all black, white, purple straight folks….

  71. BlackKnight

    Are you related to Vivianne? You have similar clarity of thought.

    ok, i see, so now anyone who does not share your views and dares to say it publicly are related to vivianne.
    dude go to psychiatrist and evaluate yourself cause you are no main stream. just saying.

    no body is denying you a roof over your head because you are gay or bisexual – its between you and your wife – but dont push your agenda on other folks. i wont let you push it on me or my kids i can tell that much…. and if you ever rub me the wrong way i will call a sheriff on you.
    just a warning.

  72. Liberal Anthropologist

    “so you tell me who you really are cause i can tell you that much i dont want you as my neighbor or my kids learn all this wrong stuff from your kids.”

    So… it seems my type is – Libertarian.

    Do you plan on asking your REALTOR to do a demographic analysis of the number of libertarians or libertarian sympathizers that exist in a neighborhood. My guess is that request would be met with a quizzical look.

    Do you want to only live in a neighborhood where people look and think like you? So, do you want to only live with black people who are straight and think that libertarians and gays are bad news? Do you want to keep the white people out of your neighborhood? And the gays? And the libertarians of any race?

    Who else do you want kept out of your neighborhood?

    As to the rest of your post, perhaps someone else can step in here and tell me what he or she is talking about. I genuinely am lost. I am not sure what Tax $$$ have to do with anything for example.

  73. BlackKnight

    i can ask my realtor any questions i want and he better gives me straight answers cause i’m paying him 2.5-4% – my money my questions.

  74. BlackKnight

    cause i can get my own license instead of working with agent who is not straight with me. this is why i prefer to use a friend agent cause i know i will get straight answers.

  75. BlackKnight

    “So, do you want to only live with black people who are straight and think that libertarians and gays are bad news? Do you want to keep the white people out of your neighborhood? And the gays? And the libertarians of any race?”

    liberal you are an idiot!
    right now you are using up the oxygen – how can anyone have an intelligent discussion with an idiot. it is not possible.

    question: if you think anti-gay straight people are homophobes, stupid, uneducated, old fashioned why would you want live among them to begin with??????
    dont you think you would be better off to create your own neighborhoods????
    create your own energy, not like a cancer you drain the energy out of stupid straight folks… just saying.

  76. Epluribusunum Post author

    BlackKnight, you’re new here and not familiar with our commenting policies, so I will give you a quick introduction. We very much welcome disagreement and spirited debate, but if I wouldn’t tolerate something said to me or to a guest in my home, I won’t tolerate it here. Before you submit a comment, please think about what you have written and ask if you would say it as a guest in my home, or if you would tolerate it from a guest in yours.

    Having said that, LA has been very forthcoming about who he is, although you don’t seem to be paying very good attention to what he is telling you. What about you, BlackKnight? Who are you? Where do you get your information about the world? What is the source of your ideas about LGBT people, about Muslims, about Libertarians, about anyone else who is not just like you?

    If you tell us about yourself instead of trying to tell others about themselves, you’ll have a better experience here.

  77. A.E. Gnat

    I’m trying to get my head around criticism of someone “hiding like a COWARD behind a anonymous gravatar” from someone who is hiding like a COWARD behind a anonymous gravatar.

    This is kind of entertaining, though. BlackKnight, I hope you keep commenting. Vivianne finally left, and the thread was getting a little slow without a dolt. It’s much better now.

    L.A., you have the patience of Job.

  78. Epluribusunum Post author

    “last comment on this anti-straight [sic] blog,”

    Let’s hope so. Commenters who don’t engage and aren’t interested in what other people say don’t really add anything to the conversation.

  79. BlackKnight

    and even if sexual orientation was a protected class in Virginia, it doesn’t mean i can’t ask my agent a question – just ask people in Maryland.
    what are you going to do, lock me up in prison for asking my agent a question? :-)

    it almost could be funny except it is not funny.
    pinch me someone cause i think i’m having out of body experience.

  80. liz

    Um…Black Knight, three-fourths of the people who run this blog are straight. We’re not anti-straight, we’re anti-discrimination. It’s not a battle between LGBT and straight folks. It’s a battle between people who think that everyone should get a fair shake, and people who think that if anyone else has a chance to be on a level playing field then that means that the people who used to have it all to themselves are losing.

    I’m a straight white woman who is for a level playing field for everyone, and you’re a troll.

  81. Engleberp X. Circusmusic

    BlackKnight’s unintentionally hilarious comments aside, I’d just like to wish everyone a Happy Valentine’s Day. (Also, go check out Google’s “doodle” for today if you get the chance.)

  82. Epluribusunum Post author

    Sweet! Happy Valentine’s Day to all. My offering at Equality Loudoun is here. Another couple applying for the marriage license to which they are entitled was turned away today – a temporary setback. It must truly piss off the haters that they have done everything they can, but equality is inevitable anyway.

  83. BlackKnight

    “I’m a straight white woman who is for a level playing field for everyone”
    @liz

    ….. hm, your grand children might need that level field.
    I hope that all your grandchildren are born lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender. As a “good” grandma, you should talk to them at least twice every day about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender lifestyles ….. and explain to them from a very early age the benefits of each lifestyle.

    I’ll make sure that teachers keep an eye on your grandkids so they are connected to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender inner psyche in their brain.

  84. Pariahdog

    BlackNight,

    Nobody is interested in having or picking a fight. You’re “SLUTTY” assertion is without evidence. Divorce rates are lowest in so-called blue states that, unlike Virginia, do not legislatively condone anti-gay bigotry.

    If fights are your thing (you’re not BlackTroubadour) please visit novatownhall or the AFA Facebook page, or one of the myriad of venues where you can commune with like-minded people itching to fight the illusive “homosexual agenda”.

  85. Epluribusunum Post author

    Ok, I think we’ve seen enough. “BlackKnight” has been placed in moderation due to abusive comments. The last one was removed. He was warned, politely, about what we will tolerate here. If he finds that he can engage in conversation without abusing and insulting others his comments will be released.

  86. BlackKnight

    divorce rates lower in *blue* states?
    for anyone who doesn’t know, now they call the liberal democratic states “blue” states….. go figure….

    STATISTICS?
    even IF it is true the divorce rate is lower in “blue” states, it is only because most lesbian and gay couples live in unregistered unions and they are not counted.

    …..because if they were counted …. precisely, your divorce rate would make a hole in the roof of the “blue” states.

    the culture in those states is different than in states that do not protect sexual orientation.

  87. Liz Miller

    BlackKnight, I deleted your other comment. You have been warned.

    Regarding “blue states”, that was a construct begun by television reporters who liked to use red for Republican and blue for Democrats because, as I’ve heard it, red and Republican both start with “r”.

    Regarding divorce rates. Even without marriage, GLBT long-term relationships tend to outlast straight long term relationships (married or not).

    This was actually proved in a court of law.

  88. Epluribusunum Post author

    I hope that all your grandchildren are born lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender.

    At least he acknowledges that people are born with their innate gender and orientation. Maybe there’s potential for an epiphany there.

  89. BlackKnight

    ms.miller, you still didn’t answer my question:

    what your liberal cultural inclinations have to do with my constitutional right to purchase a home that reflects my cultural inclinations — or my right not to purchase a house next to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender neighbors?

    and what your liberal cultural inclinations have to do with my right to ask my agent any questions that i want to ask – my money, my questions. i’m paying 2.5%-4% for that service.

    who do you think you are to decide my life or my cultural preferences?

  90. mosborn

    “who do you think you are to decide my life or my cultural preferences?”

    Says the guys who probably doesn’t think two men should be able to marry. And that women should only be able to get abortions under certain (if any) circumstances. And that my children should have to be taught Creationism in public school. Etc.

  91. Liz Miller

    I missed that question, BlackKnight, but I’ll tell you. You don’t have such a constitutional right. I have my constitution right here and it doesn’t give you the right to live in a neighborhood free of people you disapprove of. The United States government has determined that you don’t get to find out much beyond the socio-economic status of your average neighbor.

    And as to your other question: I don’t care if my children and grandchildren are GLBT or straight. I care that they grow up to be kind, respectful, and loving people.

  92. Epluribusunum Post author

    BK, I’ve decided to release your comment above from moderation because you’ve refrained from using abusive language – although you are asking questions that have already been answered here. It’s up to Liz whether or not she wants to bother responding to you.

    Briefly, you don’t have the “right” to determine who your neighbors are. If you dislike your neighbors, you can choose to move, but there’s obviously no guarantee that neighbors you dislike just as much won’t move in next door at your next home. We no longer tolerate housing segregation (i.e., de facto “all white” neighborhoods) in this country.

    You do have the right to ask a real estate agent anything you like, however they are not permitted to provide you with the sort of demographic information in which you seem to be interested. It was for just such a violation of professional ethics that Keller Williams terminated Ms. Rutkowski.

  93. BlackKnight

    “And that my children should have to be taught Creationism in public school. Etc.”
    @mosborn,

    i’m agnostic (read: atheist who sees value in religions, not necessarily catholic) and do NOT take the bible creationism literally or many other religious “truths”. your creationism argument may work on others, but it doesn’t work on me.

    this is the problem with you, liberals.
    you throw a one big blanket label on people who don’t agree with your agenda and you are quick to declare victory.

    the truth is you showed your cards and those are not the winning cards. your lack of respect for people or the constitution is eye opening.

  94. BlackKnight

    ” I have my constitution right here and it doesn’t give you the right to live in a neighborhood free of people you disapprove of. The United States government has determined that you don’t get to find out much beyond the socio-economic status of your average neighbor.

    And as to your other question: I don’t care if my children and grandchildren are GLBT or straight. I care that they grow up to be kind, respectful, and loving people.”

    @Liz Miller,

    1) yes, i do have that right and have choices. i can always purchase a home on a big lot that is not located in the congested area. even if it means purchasing a fixer upper and suffering longer commutes to work.

    2) i care and i want to make sure that my grandchildren are not lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender. your values are not my values. this is where the line needs to be drawn.

  95. Liz Miller

    Now, you see BlackKnight, I’m going to have to say that statistically, you’re an anomaly. If you’re NOT religious, and yet you feel this strongly that you don’t want to live near GLBT folks, then you’re a very rare duck indeed.

    You’re actually making me regret having deleted that comment of yours, since I think it shows that you may be telling an untruth in your most recent comment.

  96. Liz Miller

    You have the right to buy a big lot somewhere that is not densely populated, that’s true…but if you want to buy on the east coast, 2 of the least populated states, VT and NH, have a pretty high proportion of GLBT folks. Less dense areas of Loudoun? I think there are folks on this thread who can disabuse you of the notion that you’d be away from GLBT.

    Now, you may not want your kids and grandkids to be GLBT, and I’m pretty sure that you will make it clear enough to them that they would prefer not to be too. Unfortunately, it just doesn’t work that way. I would love to be 5’4″, but I can’t wish away the fact that I’m not going to grow another 5 inches.

  97. BlackKnight

    “You do have the right to ask a real estate agent anything you like, however they are not permitted to provide you with the sort of demographic information in which you seem to be interested. It was for just such a violation of professional ethics that Keller Williams terminated Ms. Rutkowski.”

    @epluri,

    1) this only proves that fair housing laws applied this way are clearly not constitutional and not legal.

    2) from what i’ve read here, ms.r was terminated by kw for posting a blog, even though she gave the source, the loudoun times mirror, and the topic is a public knowledge, like taxes, etc. anyone who reads the loudoun times mirror or follows county politics already had this information available to them. realtors are allowed to give demographic info, including sexual orientation, if they are not involved directly in a sale or lease transaction, ex blog or casual conversation.

    3) ms. r needs a good lawyer who will slap kw with the biggest lawsuit in the history of the real estate. that would teach kw to think twice before they join in accusing an agent of violating fair housing laws when such violation did not take place. it wouldn’t hurt kw to know the state laws either as sexual orientation is not a protected class in virginia.

  98. Liz Miller

    Sorry, BK, but she did more than that. She did not merely post a link to the article, or state what the ordinance says. She editorialized about it. And it wasn’t just a blog, it was her professional blog. And her profession requires that she be non-discriminatory. Which her editorial clearly was not.

    The fair housing act has, so far, not been declared unconstitutional. So you are just out of luck about trying to police who your neighbors are.

  99. Epluribusunum Post author

    Nope. 1) She didn’t link to a Times-Mirror article, she wrote an editorial. 2) No, she’s not allowed to give such demographic information under any circumstance, as a Realtor. 3) State law is irrelevant. The issue at hand is the Realtor code of ethics, which applies regardless of any state or local law. And, of course, Loudoun County prohibits such discrimination with regard to county employment. You are misinformed on all three counts.

  100. Epluribusunum Post author

    This conversation, I think, illustrates the basic difference between people who believe things because they are true, and people who insist things are true because they believe them. Both BK and Ms. Rutkowski would find themselves in the latter category.

  101. BlackKnight

    “So you are just out of luck about trying to police who your neighbors are.”
    @liz miller

    can i police who i marry or who my children marry?
    can i police who my children play with?
    as you can see you are in a catch 22 scenario.

  102. Epluribusunum Post author

    As you’ve been told, if you dislike your neighbors, you can move. That’s about the extent of it. Good luck trying to police who your children marry once they’re adults.

    Your “catch 22″ remark doesn’t make sense. Would you like to try to explain it?

  103. Liz Miller

    BlackKnight, in Virginia, you can marry whomever you wish, as long as they are not the same gender as you.

    You can certainly TRY to police who your children marry, but since they will be adults by then, you may not have much luck.

    You can also certainly police who your children play with outside of school hours, but if they attend school outside your home, you are going to run into similar problems as you do with your neighborhood.

    And no, I’m not in a Catch 22 scenario, since I wouldn’t want to police those things anyway.

  104. BlackKnight

    “You have the right to buy a big lot somewhere that is not densely populated, that’s true…but if you want to buy on the east coast, 2 of the least populated states, VT and NH, have a pretty high proportion of GLBT folks.”

    @liz miller,

    this is why my family relocated to virginia and not to maryland cause virginia does not play politics with sexual orientation.

    as a matter of fact we discussed this issue with our agent and he sent us links to virginia and maryland websites.
    and you are telling me that agent can’t discuss sexual orientation with their clients??? what planet are you from?

    this is also why i would never purchase a home in loudoun county cause it seems highly political and clearly has some hidden agendas.

  105. BlackKnight

    “You can also certainly police who your children play with outside of school hours, but if they attend school outside your home, you are going to run into similar problems as you do with your neighborhood.”

    @liz

    this is why many parents prefer to home school their children rather than allow the government to indoctrinate them.

  106. Liz Miller

    “this is why many parents prefer to home school their children rather than allow the government to indoctrinate them.”

    Children playing together does not equal government indoctrination. It is children. Playing together.

    As for your realtor, that’s a matter for his disciplinary committee.

    And as for what planet I’m from, I’m from Earth, where all sorts of people live. You seem to want to live on a completely different planet where only people like you live. Good luck with that.

  107. BlackKnight

    question: is there a specific law that requires real estate agents to link to the source on their blog when writing about issue that is public knowledge? is providing a source of information not sufficient enough?
    what if the blog is written using a newspaper in the paper form and such electronic link is not available?

    it seems that liberals would want to regulate everything and anything.

  108. Liz Miller

    BK, Liberals and Conservatives both like to regulate things. We just disagree over what to regulate.

    For example, I’m pretty sure you are pretty happy with yesterday’s passage of the mandatory ultrasound bill that got passed by the VA General Assembly. Or perhaps you are fond of the amendment to the VA constitution from 2006 that limits marriage in VA to one man and one woman?

    Those are regulations, too.

  109. BlackKnight

    “As for your realtor, that’s a matter for his disciplinary committee.”
    @liz miller,

    ???????????????
    could you be more specific?

    my realtor did nothing wrong. i asked a question that was important to me and he provided the resources for me to research this issue……

    are you suggesting that i have a legal obligation to report my real estate agent to some kind of disciplinary committee because he provided me with the info that i needed???
    i’m not sure where you are going with that.

  110. Epluribusunum Post author

    BK, what’s your connection to Jonathon Moseley? It’s interesting that you brought him up in your first comment – I wonder what you believed his relevance was to this thread? You claim not to live in Loudoun, but clearly you are a local.

    Also, you haven’t addressed the contradiction presented by your comment to Liz, in which you say “I hope that all your grandchildren are born lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender.” How do you explain your apparent belief that you can decide the gender and orientation of your own grandchildren, when you also believe that her grandchildren will be born the way they are? Maybe you just haven’t thought this through very clearly. Here is your chance to do so.

    I know that my grandchildren, and Liz’s, will be loved and supported as exactly who they are. I’m concerned about yours, however.

  111. BlackKnight

    “Children playing together does not equal government indoctrination. It is children. Playing together.”

    @ liz miller,

    it certainly does matter who our children play with.

    let me give you an example from my own life.
    when my son was in the fourth or fifth grade he refused to drink tea. any tea. even in the winter.
    my wife and i were at our wits end as to what might have caused such unreasonable, unhealthy and outright stupid behavior. he was a good child and a great student, so this was very puzzling to us.

    until one day we discovered that one of his good friends at school was a mormon boy from a very orthodox fundamentalist mormon family who believed that drinking coffee, tea, wearing shorts or sleeveless t-shirts was a sin.
    somehow that mormon boy managed to convince my son that drinking tea was wrong.

    needless to say, i ended this unhealthy friendship rather quickly – you tell me i had no legal right to decide what was best for my child.

    yes, it does matter who our children play with.

  112. BlackKnight

    “I know that my grandchildren, and Liz’s, will be loved and supported as exactly who they are. I’m concerned about yours, however.”

    @epluri,

    another question mark??????

    are you telling me that unless my grandchildren are “open” to being lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, you will send
    a social worker
    to ensure
    that my grandchildren are indoctrinated with the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender option?????

    i hope you are reading this america.
    as ernest hemingway wrote: ask not for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee.

  113. Epluribusunum Post author

    BK, I asked you two simple questions, and you haven’t answered either one of them yet.

    How do you explain your apparent belief that Liz’s grandchildren will be born the way they are, but that your own grandchildren can have their gender or orientation determined by you (or, as you put it, have an “option” chosen for them)? Do you not grasp the contradiction?

    Why did you mention Jonathon Moseley in your first comment?

  114. Liz Miller

    You know, BlackKnight, you really had me going until you related the anecdote about your child and his Mormon friend.

    Now I know you’re just having us on. Good on you, Mate. You do an excellent imitation of an anti-GLBT ideologue. If you could tone it down just a touch, you could fool people for weeks.

  115. A.E. Gnat

    I feel sad for your child, BK.

    Children aren’t born to hate. They learn it. They learn it from their parents and from others. You’re teaching them that our lives should be rid of those who are different.

    Perhaps this would have been a chance for you to educate your child about the differences people have when it comes to matters of faith, and taught him tolerance for those who are different. You’re doing your child a disservice by teaching him otherwise. Much to your chagrin, I am certain, society is becoming more and more heterogeneous in matters of race, religion, orientation, gender identity, you name it. Tolerance for those who are different is rapidly evolving from a desirable quality to an essential one. Your child will need to learn to accept those who are different in order to thrive. Who will teach him that?

    Clearly not you, at this point.

  116. BlackKnight

    “Tolerance for those who are different is rapidly evolving from a desirable quality to an essential one. Your child will need to learn to accept those who are different in order to thrive.”

    @gnat,

    all my children need to know is to obey the law, even if they do not agree with that law or respect those who imposed such law on the society.

    only obey, nothing more.
    tolerance has its limits.

    what is next?
    i can give you a long list of things that “can” be legalized, but make most people cringe at the thought.

  117. BlackKnight

    “until you related the anecdote about your child and his Mormon friend.”

    @liz miller,

    i only gave this example, which i know first hand from a personal experience, to prove that young children are very impressionable and can be easily manipulated and indoctrinated with about any theory.

    what children are taught at home and in schools does matter.

  118. BlackKnight

    “Now, you see BlackKnight, I’m going to have to say that statistically, you’re an anomaly. If you’re NOT religious, and yet you feel this strongly that you don’t want to live near GLBT folks, then you’re a very rare duck indeed.”

    @ liz miller,

    why should it matter if i’m an anomaly or not???

    you want sexual orientation to be a protected class.
    yet, you are denying the same rights to other people cause … they are an anomaly.

    the same rule must be applied to all people.
    even if i were the only person in the anomaly class, i would want the same legal protection as other protected classes have.

    the reasoning behind protection for sexual orientation is that everyone deserves a roof over their head and no one should fear for their life because of their sexual orientation.

    to be constitutional, the same rule must be applied to any other group or class, including anomaly people. yet, you are telling me that my rights do not count cause i’m an “anomaly”

  119. Liz Miller

    BK, you’re boring me. I am not saying you don’t have the same rights as everyone else. You absolutely have the same rights as everybody else.

    Nobody has the right to live in a neighborhood that contains only neighbors you approve of.

    Too bad, so sad.

    And you’ve totally convinced me that you are a joker pretending to be a bigot.

    And here’s the thing, anonymous hypocritical bigotry bores me, but fake anonymous hypocritical bigotry bores me more because if it isn’t funny, what’s the point?

    And you’re just not funny.

  120. liberal anthropologist

    Some interesting facts…

    Black knight joined zillow and posted his very first comment ever after I started that thread there. He also followed us here vigorously defending vivianne.

    She stopped posting when he showed up.

    He is a person who asked a realtor for the kind of information she talked about. Come clean bk….

    Was vivianne rutkowski your realtor? Did she all you – based on your experience with her to defend what she did for you?

  121. Elder Berry

    Moseley? Oh good lord.

    BK, you could have used your child’s experience with a Mormon family as a learning experience about different choices and beliefs. Instead you shut down the friendship, that’s too bad for your child. I feel sorry for your child. If you are real and not a joker, you are a sad case.

  122. Elder Berry

    By the way everyone including BK, the change/update to the Realtor ™ ethics pledge to include sexual orientation in the protected classes was recent, I think in January of 2011. The specific issue with Vivianne’s ethical requirement regarding discussing sexual orientation (and your realtor’s as well) would have arisen as of the time of that change. She should have immediately removed her blog posting and ceased making any further comments about sexual orientation demographics, even assuming it was allowable or proper for a realtor before that time. If your realtor made his/her suggestion re Maryland and Virginia demographics after the change/update in the realtor pledge, then he/she was in violation as well. Not to mention probably having given you probably erroneous or useless information.

    To me it was ugly and discriminatory to be making such statements or references about LGBT at any time, but for nitpickers the prohibition for realtors has an effective date on the NAR pages.

  123. Liberal Anthropologist

    “BK” is over on TC in a thread about the Japanese internment camps, and she is lapsing into CAPS. After trying so hard to stay all lower case on here. Oh well.

    EB,

    It remains a good question whether there was a technical ethics violation given timing, and exact content and circumstance. I guess none of us are truly aware of whatever precedences REALTOR may have to look at in deciding. In my opinion, if she did not violate the letter, then she violated the spirit. We will see if it really is an ethics violation when she gets her hearing. Then we will know how REALTOR views it. I, for one, truly hope she learned from this. It is rare to see someone act so blatantly like this. At least from my perspective.

  124. Epluribusunum Post author

    Yep, it’s obviously her. She’s lapsed into the same syntax, and phrases about “voiding contracts.”

    From what I understand from other Realtors, once sexual orientation was added to the protected classes in the code, her post was in violation according to the letter of that section of the code. There are other sections that talk about not bringing dishonor to the profession.

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