You Can’t Live Here If You’re Gay

Scott Robertson and Richard Anthony rented an apartment together in Yellowknife (Northwest Territories, Canada). They signed a one-year lease and paid the security fee… and then saw the same property re-advertised weeks before they were set to move in.

It turned out the owner of the property, Will Goertzen, was not going to let them move in.

Homosexuality “isn’t natural and it’s a crime against nature. I can definitely not have a part in it,” Goertzen told a commission adjudicator on Tuesday. “We all die and after that is the judgment.”

The landlord told the commission he recognizes the supremacy of God over the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

“There’s a reason I’m fearful: God is bigger than me and any person on Earth,” he said.

He also argued his business would suffer “undue hardship” if he allowed the couple to move in, and he believed the men would be a negative influence on Anthony’s sister and her son [who also live in the apartment complex].

“Undue hardship”? Please. What’s going to happen, other than increased and unnecessary paranoia in Goertzen’s own mind?

The couple is suing — a decision will be issued later this summer — and Goertzen’s just digging himself in a hole by openly admitting to discrimination.

Goertzen said the case has been tough on him too.

“Do you think this has been easy for me? I love you, Mr. Robertson, but I hate the sin you’re in.”

Right… I’m sure everyone feels awful for the sad bigot.

This is what prejudiced Christians like him do all the time. They say they love the sinner but hate the sin. But when push comes to shove, they will do everything in their power to take rights away from gay people.

They don’t know what love means.

(Thanks to Liesl for the link)

  • http://rijkaanvitaminen.blogspot.com/ Rijkaanvitaminen

    I have never ever understood the problem of homosexuality. It is only a problem if people make it a problem. As long as people do’nt hurt me, I see no reason why I should hate them or their supposed ‘crime’. But then, it’s easy talking for me, I’m an atheist.

  • Neon Genesis

    What I don’t get about homophobia is this whole argument Christians try to use to justify it that if they legalize something, that’s the same thing as giving moral approval to it. I don’t approve of fundamentalist Christianity but I wouldn’t deny a fundamentalist a home to live in because I’m not so foolish to believe that I’m going to face some sort of hardship if I had let a fundamentalist have a home. Apparently homophobic Christian love means letting gays starve on the street with no home to go to.

  • http://jkjonesthinks.blogspot.com J. K. Jones

    Homosexuality is either right or wrong.

    Those who believe it is wrong are morally obligated to warn those who are engaging in homosexual behavior to stop. They are also morally obligated to ensure they are not supporting homosexual behavior.

    The more productive discussion is whether the behavior is right or wrong.

  • JT

    But don’t you see?? He agreed to let gays live at his place and his business is already facing divine retribution. He’s getting sued for discrimination. Proof that god hates it when you act civil with one of the groups he told you to hate! Can you imagine how god would have punished him if he had allowed them to actually move in??

    They might have come in and made a bunch of improvements to increase the value of his property! Then he’d be rich and everyone knows that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God! If gays want choose to be the way that gets them into hell it’s their business…but dragging others with them? That’s just wrong!

  • Kyle

    I sure hope they have housing anti-discrimination laws in Northwest Territories as they do in many other “sane” places in the world. I want to see this bigot slammed for this. At least he was kind (stupid?) enough to openly admit his bigotry.

  • Karmakin

    Kyle:Public accommodation laws are baked in to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which is Canada’s Bill of Rights.

    The core difference between Canada and America in that regard, is that America’s is strictly about preventing what the government can do, while Canada’s is presenting ideals and goals for freedoms for each person to have. One of those freedoms is freedom from discrimination.

    It’s an open and shut case really.

  • tim

    @J. K. Jones

    The more productive discussion is whether the behavior is right or wrong.

    That is the more production discussion? So share with us – do you think homosexual “behavior” (as you call it) is wrong?

  • nankay

    I thought by “behaviour” J.K. Jones was referring to the landlord’s behaviour.

  • beckster

    @J. K. Jones

    A productive discussion would be whether people have the right to insist that all others live by their religious codes. Obviously the answer is no. You live by your moral code and others can live by theirs. As long as no one is trampling on others’ rights, there isn’t a problem and no need for a discussion. Obviously here there is a problem, because one person’s “morality” is trampling on the rights of someone else and it needs to be remedied.

  • Min

    Homosexuality is either right or wrong.

    Do you think it’s also fair to say that having red hair is either right or wrong? I mean, at least you don’t have to see when somebody is gay. I think a more productive discussion is whether or not it’s right or wrong to deny those redheads a place to live.

  • http://findingmyfeminism.blogspot.com/ Not Guilty

    If these guys don’t win, I’d be floored. There is human rights legislation and it forbids discrimination on the basis of sex (which the Supreme Court of Canada has read into all HR legislation). I did a paper on HR laws in Canada. I was attacking another aspect of the laws, but they will win. And this bigot will be punished financially by the courts, though not by an imaginary sky fairy.

  • Chal

    J. K. Jones:

    Homosexuality is either right or wrong.

    Those who believe it is wrong are morally obligated to warn those who are engaging in homosexual behavior to stop. They are also morally obligated to ensure they are not supporting homosexual behavior.

    The more productive discussion is whether the behavior is right or wrong.

    “Posting on the Internet is either right or wrong.

    Those who believe it is wrong are morally obligated to warn those who are posting on the Internet to stop. They are also morally obligated to ensure they are not supporting posting on the Internet.

    The more productive discussion is whether the behavior is right or wrong.”

    And until you can convince everyone that it’s right, we’re invalidating all your contracts.

  • http://www.snowcoveredhills.com Megan

    People here in Yellowknife are horrified. A local blogger covered the hearing and provided some commentary: check out The Gay White North.

    This is SO NOT YELLOWKNIFE. Our community is not like this. I we don’t want to be in the international news for this.

  • http://www.snowcoveredhills.com Megan

    I should probably also say that there are two separate legal matters here: the breach of the Residential Tenancies Act (because they were denied possession of the rental property) and the human rights case.

    The couple made an application to the rental officer and compensation was ordered because they were denied possession and needed to find more expensive housing. They have filed an appeal to the Supreme Court of the NWT because they believe they should have received more compensation (they did not get additional costs for utilities).

    This week was their human rights case. The adjudication panel heard evidence that they were discriminated against because they are gay.

    It will take some time for both of these matters to conclude.

  • http://www.thatpinkmouse.com/bloggy Jenny Bliss

    im curious actualy (not being canadian i wouldnt no this for sure) but in the uk this would also count as a breach of contract? i mean im assuming the lease would have been in the form of a contract or somthing else as legaly binding and such documents rarley have a line in that says the landlord can change their mind without telling you hehe which would mean it’d be even easier to sue i would assume somthing similar over there, ahh i need a canadian solictiter/lawyer… hmm *throws pokeball* GO CANADIAN LAW GUY! :D

  • Rebecca

    I am always weirded out by the way that evangelical-type Christians go around telling strangers that they love them.

    Say you just met a fourth cousin twice removed for the first time, and you’d never known anything about each other. If the first or second thing this guy said to you was, “I love you!” 99.99% of people would find that entirely bizarre and off-putting. We’d also wonder what strange definition of “love” this guy has.

    Why is it so much less weird to the average person that a Christian goes around saying it to strangers he’s acting unkindly toward?

  • Matt

    The whole “I love them, but hate the sin” is just meaningless rhetoric expoused by evangelicals. They learn it from their minister or brethren and just parrot it. You can have more of a human conversation with online chat bots.

  • Richard Wade

    …and he believed the men would be a negative influence on Anthony’s sister and her son [who also live in the apartment complex].

    Wait a minute. Anthony’s sister? She’s the gay guy’s sister, and this puffed up moral policeman landlord thinks he can, and that it’s his business to, protect her and her son from influence by her brother? Yeah, the negative influence would be to treat each person fairly on an individual basis, without pre-judging them. How un-Christian that would be.

    Who’s going to protect them from your negative influence, Goertzen?

    “We all die and after that is the judgment.”

    You’ve got that backwards, Goertzen. First, you pass judgment on everybody else, then you die.

    And the only thing left after that will be the memory of the suffering that you caused others. Because people will want to forget you, that will soon fade too, and it will be as if you never were. What a waste.

  • Justice Has No God

    There’s no discussion on this. That’s housing discrimination and it’s illegal. The landlord is in violation of established equal opportunity rights. Even if the local judge rules for the landlord that won’t stand up in a bigger court. It’s religiously based sexual discrimination: he’s got no case.

  • Rest

    He better install cameras in every room so that he can catch tenants doing other un-Christian things.

  • http://yetanotheratheist.net Yet Another Atheist

    Homosexuality is neither right nor wrong, any more than having red hair is right or wrong, or being black is right or wrong. It’s who the person is, and something they can’t help. Why can’t these fucking moronic Christian evangelical retards understand that? What is so hard to grasp about that? If there were a God, he made them that way. Then what? There goes the entire, backwards religion. One down, several more to go.

  • Iason Ouabache

    “I love you, Mr. Goertzen, but I hate the paranoid delusional homophobia you’re in.”

    Do you see how silly statements like this sound?

  • http://chunkymonkeymind.blogspot.com/ Palaverer

    “We all die and after that is the judgment.”

    Then why do people like this feel like they personally need to pass judgment in this life?

  • http://n8chz.blogspot.com/ Lori

    The ‘supremacy of God’ remark is apparently a reference to the preamble to the Canadian constitution:

    Whereas Canada is founded on principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the Rule of Law…

    Ironic that theocratic Canada is usually less socially conservative than the nonsectarian-in-theory U.S.A.

    Ever notice how oftentimes when Christians go all ‘conscientious objector’ on business relationships it is likely as not from a position of relative power? Christian employer vs. atheist employee, Christian landlord vs. gay tenant, Christian pharmacist vs. pregnant teen…

    What happens in a capitalist economy if an hourly or non-management employee has ethical objections to something in their J?b description? The standard line of capitalism’s defenders is ‘nobody’s holding a gun to your head…’

  • http://terahertzatheist.ca Ian

    It’s worth noting that in Canada cases like this aren’t technically “lawsuits.” The gay couple is (correctly) going through the NWT Human Rights Commission which oversees human rights violations (not Charter violations, but provincial/federal human rights codes – both of which prevent discrimination based on sexual orientation). HRCs don’t actually cost the victim of discrimination money so as to ensure that cases of discrimination aren’t inhibited financially (they don’t take pointless cases though). They’ll win this case (precedents are long and the guy’s an obvious bigot).

    Hopefully they find somewhere else cheap to live soon.

  • Pingback: Yellowknife gay discrimination | Terahertz

  • http://www.lavenderliberal.com/ Buffy

    Maybe more of us should start making a stink when we discover a person lives a Christian lifestyle. Then when they all start screaming about “persecution” we can turn around and ask them why they feel they have the right to reject anybody they don’t like, but demand full acceptance of their chosen behaviors.

  • Canadiannalberta

    @Jenny Bliss. I read a law book for dummies a while back, and from my understanding yes, it is a contract issue as well, since they paid the landlord. It’s no different than buying a car, having the first payment go through, and suddenly you’re denied the right to own it because you’re blonde, or a woman, or gay, or Muslim or whatever. At least, that’s how I understood it. If someone here is familiar with Canadian law and will correct me, that’d be great. I love learning :D

  • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ WMDKitty

    Wait, wouldn’t this qualify as theft?

    He took their money, and basically ran.

  • http://www.snowcoveredhills.com Megan

    @WMDKitty:

    I live in Yellowknife. The rental officer ordered the landlord to return the tenants’ damage deposit and to pay other compensation to cover their increased costs. The case that’s described in this blog post is about the discrimination because the tenants are gay: a separate issue even though it resulted from the same event.

  • Dan W

    A lot of Christians seem to have a weird view of what love is. The “love the sinner, hate the sin” idea is part of this. Also, like one of the above commentors said, evangelical Christians going around telling random strangers they love them. I’ve encountered this a few times, and it weirds me out. In any case, saying you love someone when you hardly know them is bullshit, especially if you’re a bigot who discriminates against them because of the sexual orientation they were born with.

  • jcm

    Apparently, Christians forget this: “Judge not, that ye be not judged.” (Matth 7:1, KVJ)

  • Steve

    Of course, being gay is neither right nor wrong. And it’s not a behavior, but an identity. That’s a relatively new and western concept though. It wasn’t always that way and a lot of Muslim countries still see it that way. The idea of homosexuality as an innate character trait has spread there in recent years and is changing the dynamics there a bit. You’d be surprised at how much homosexual behavior by straight people there is in Saudia Arabia of all places, because of the strict gender segregation. But the men see it as ok as long as they are the “male”/top position. Just as in ancient Rome and Greece.

    Anyways, true homosexuality isn’t something anyone can change. But that’s not how Christians see it. To them it’s a choice or phase and they disparage it as a “lifestyle”. They think you can “pray the gay away” and grow out of it. So if they just discriminate and hate enough, people will stop choosing to be gay.

  • muggle

    Even if being gay, were a choice, so the fuck what? That argument always really bothers me not just because it isn’t but because it really doesn’t matter. It’s not hurting anyone so get something going in your own bedroom and poke your nose out of other people’s.

    This landlord is an asshole. If you can’t handle dealing with people different than you then you should not be in business for yourself because they may at some point be interested in what you’re selling.

    I don’t think he should have been able to deny them a rental based on that regardless but how sleazy is it to take the money then pull this crap?

  • plutosdad

    Isn’t that the point of the parable of the Good Samaritan? That the last guy didn’t follow the *true* god and was unclean to begin with so it was fine for him to help, but the first two were correct to not touch the man in need, because they would become unclean. And that was more important than anything.

    That is why Jesus never ate and drank with prostitutes and tax collectors, they were unclean sinners and he said “I don’t hate you just your sin, now get behind me Satan so I can go hang with my Pharisee bros.”

    There should be a new version of the Bible printed, where every time Pharisee or Sagisee appears, it is replaced with “evangelical christian”, every time some neighboring tyrant comes to slaughter the jews, replace them with “evangelical christian,” every time satan or some demon appears to lie and tempt others, replace it with “evangelical christian.” Maybe they’ll get the hint at how utterly evil many of them are.

    The Pride parade is assembling outside my window right now. Luckily it just stopped raining. See you there.

  • http://www.jkjonesthinks.blogspot.com J. K. Jones

    Yes, Tim, I think homosexual behavior is wrong.

    Beckster, everyone votes for and lobbies for a version of a moral code. You are saying it is WRONG for someone to insist that others live by his / her moral code. Your moral code is such that you see this insistence as wrong.

    Min, red hair is neither right nor wrong. How does this apply to homosexuality?

    Chal (and everyone else), I would have rented the house to the guys. I would not see a problem with it. I would see it as an opportunity to break down some stereotypes of how Christians treat gays. The main point I was trying to make above is that forcing an opinion on another with the law is not really a good solution in a case like this (especially in a pluralistic society like the one we have in the US).

    We are all born with a proclivity to sin, it’s just that we usually have different sins we prefer. The solution in all of the cases where we are genetically predisposed to a certain sin is repentance. I repent daily. Change is hard for us all, but possible with faith in Christ.

  • http://n8chz.blogspot.com/ Lori

    Yah I morally disapprove of belief in infallibility. I don’t consider it a victimless crime. My motto is ‘love the believer, hate the belief system,’ which represents an exactly equal amount of brotherly love as the ‘love the sinner…’ trope contains.

  • Kelly

    J.K. Jones Says:
    Homosexuality is either right or wrong.

    Those who believe it is wrong are morally obligated to warn those who are engaging in homosexual behavior to stop. They are also morally obligated to ensure they are not supporting homosexual behavior.

    The more productive discussion is whether the behavior is right or wrong.

    This is true, it says so in 2 Thessalonians 3:15 “Yet do not regard him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother.”

    Yet Another Atheist Say:
    Homosexuality is neither right nor wrong, any more than having red hair is right or wrong, or being black is right or wrong. It’s who the person is, and something they can’t help. Why can’t these fucking moronic Christian evangelical retards understand that? What is so hard to grasp about that? If there were a God, he made them that way. Then what? There goes the entire, backwards religion. One down, several more to go.

    Leviticus 18:22 says ‘Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.’
    In Genesis 1 God made man and woman and blessed them and said be fruitful and increase in number and in Romans chapter 1 it says homosexuality is unnatural or against nature. To be fruitful and increase in number you have to get pregnant and the only natural way to do that is sexual intercourse between a man and a woman. So no, they are not made or born that way. If they were, God wouldn’t be just or fair like he says he is because he’d be damning them to Hell.
    For obvious reasons we can’t pick and choose which parts of the bible-God’s word and our guide to life-apply just because we like that part. We have to stick with the parts that we don’t like too, even if we’re sorry and regretful and sad about it.

  • Sunny Day

    Looks like the Bigoted Thief lost more than 10x what he tried to steal.

    http://www.slapupsidethehead.com/tag/scott-robertson/


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