Sunday, September 21, 2008

No gays... please

http://www.gumtree.com/ is one of those advertising sites where you can put up an advert for a flatshare. I've noticed, however, that there are quite a few adverts on it which stipulate "no gays".

There's this one in London "a perfect loction" (sic) which says "No Gays please". He also doesn't want any females:

http://www.gumtree.com/london/63/28019063.html

And this one in Bristol:

http://bristol.gumtree.com/bristol/35/16653935.html

She's looking for a "friendly, happy and tidy professional person" but warns "No students, gays, couples, housing benefit or miserable people please!"

There's this one, which boasts that it is close to Asda (believe me, you don't need to stipulate "no gays" - we only shop in Waitrose and Marks and Spencer anyway)

http://www.gumtree.com/london/86/28780486.html

And there's this one, who says that he "don't tolerate drug takers, alcoholics and dont want to live with gays for some reasons."

http://www.gumtree.com/london/59/28631359.html

The list goes on. It's a bit like those signs outside boarding houses in the 1950s that used to say "No Irish, blacks or dogs." That would be unthinkable now. And even on Gumtree, I wasn't able to find any "no blacks" adverts. At least that's one form of discrimination which society seems to be getting rid of.

But "no gays"? I've complained about the adverts to Gumtree, and written to them asking what their policy on these sorts of adverts is - did they slip through the net, or do Gumtree not see it as a problem? I'll let you know if they reply.

As yet, I don't think there are any laws against these sorts of adverts. There are laws against discrimination in the workplace, but not on who you can rent out a room to.

These adverts make me sad - sad that these people manage to live in the same society as me, yet somehow, the cultural values that I associate with being civilised and British: equality, tolerance, fair play and respect have zipped right over their heads (and in London too - not some backwater, but our capital city - supposedly a big multicultural rainbow of a place where everyone celebrates diversity). The fact that people can still be so audacious as to broadcast their own homophobia on the internet - sometimes giving out their own mobile phone numbers and contact details is also pretty staggering.

1 comment:

Lost Boy said...

I'm really shocked, as well as massively disappointed, by this. Even in these supposedly enlightened times, there remain a large number of very dark corners.