Housing
1 min

NWT landlord who rejected gay couple must pay $13.4k

A landlord who discriminated against a gay couple has been ordered to pay $13,400 in damages by a Northwest Territories human rights tribunal.

According to the decision (read the full thing – PDF), William Goertzen agreed to rent his property to Scott Robertson and Richard Anthony, but after learning that the two men were in a relationship, Goertzen considered the agreement void.

Writes human rights adjudicator James Posynick:

"Mr. Goertzen had no intention of honoring his agreement with
the Complainants because he believes that same-sex relationships are “unnatural
and against nature” and “the Bible warns against being associated with such
wickedness and there would be undue hardship upon him” if he would let them
live there. He felt if he allowed the Complainants to live in his house, God
would punish him….

"Mr. Goertzen’s actions were
discriminatory within the meaning of the Northwest Territories Human Rights Act and that his reasons
for doing so do not amount to a reasonable justification.”

Posynick ordered Goertzen to pay $5,000 to each of the men for “injury to dignity, feelings and self-respect.” Goertzen was also ordered to pay $1,500 in punitive damages to each of the men and $400 to Robertson for lost wages while pursuing the complaint.


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