A self-proclaimed psychic in Colorado refused to rent a home to a gay couple, claiming she could foresee their ‘uniqueness’ would be a black spot on the neighborhood.
Her ‘psychic friend’, who she claims can see diseases coming from up to eight years away, also advised her to refuse them.
They did not see the lawsuit coming.
Deepika Avanti of Gold Hill is being sued by Lambda Legal with a pro-bono assist from Holland & Hart over claims the medium violated the Fair Housing Act and the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act.
When she met Tonya and Rachel Smith and their two kids, it is alleged Avanti told the family via email that their ‘uniqueness’ would cause gossip and blow her ‘low profile’
Avanti, in reference to Rachel being transgender, said it was not motivated by bigotry. She said: ‘I have a transvestite friend myself.’
The Smiths are seeking emotional and punitive damages in addition to injunctive relief requiring that Avanti stop discriminatory housing practices and take a fair housing training course, as well as reasonable attorneys’ fees, according to the New Civil Rights Movement.
‘Worrying about what the neighbors will say is no excuse for discrimination,’ Lambda Legal Staff Attorney Omar Gonzalez-Pagan said.
‘Tonya and Rachel Smith are loving spouses and parents whose ideal home was denied to them because they are a same-sex couple with kids and Rachel is transgender. That’s not just wrong, it is unlawful.’