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Anti-gay landlord refuses home to lesbian couple

Anti-gay landlord refuses home to lesbian couple

A lesbian couple residing in the Isle of Man was shocked when a landlord said he doesn’t want a same-sex couple moving into his property.

Kira Izzard and Laura Cull who have been together for over 4 years were looking forward to moving to a new home next door to their three year old nephew, when their estate agent broke the news over the phone.

Cull told Gay Star News: ‘I was really upset and teary as we had our hearts set on that particular house.

She also said she felt sad and numb ‘as it never occurred to me that this would even be a factor in this day and age and it felt like a personal attack.’

Cull consulted the Manx Citizens Advice service but was told that the landlord was acting within the law, as there is no local equality protection law against discrimination regarding the supply of goods and services.

‘I was so shocked to hear this and felt sick as I didn’t know where to go or what to do as I didn’t have a legal leg to stand on.

‘After speaking with my partner Kira we thought that the only thing we could to was to share our story with as many people as possible and try and raise awareness that on this beautiful island that we call home we can still be treated this way.’

The UK Equality Act 2010 that protects LGBT people from discrimination doesn’t apply on the Isle of Man, which is a British Crown Dependency with its own parliament, government and laws.

The twenty-four Members of the House of Keys (MHKs) have not yet implemented legal protection against discrimination regarding the supply of goods and services for LGBT people, race or ethnicity.

While the Isle of Man is not part of the European Union, it is a signatory to the  European Convention on Human Rights and has passed its own Human Rights Act in 2006 which protects LGBT people from discrimination. 

However, the law only applies for government services, not private institutions or individuals.

After speaking with LGBT Network charity the couple started a petition demanding MHKs pass a law analogous the Equality Act 2010.

The LGBT Network also contacted MHKs who promised they would take action to this effect.

Phil Gawne MHK affirmed: ‘I am shocked to note that our legislation allows such things to happen here and will do what I can to work with colleagues to ensure that such discrimination can not take place in the future.’

Kate Beecroft MHK said: ‘I find the situation that you have brought to our attention is appalling.

‘Liberal Vannin believes in equality for everyone regardless of race, religion or sexual orientation and will support any changes in legislation that will help to achieve this.’

While Brenda Cannell MHK stated: ‘I am shocked to say the least that such things are apparently allowed in such situations.

‘I feel sure that the government will now turn its attention to addressing this outrageous situation and will, with all due speed consider the required legislation to prevent this type of situation from happening again.

‘I will do all that I can to have the situation addressed.’