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EU to ban advertising for same-sex flats

September 22nd, 2004

Now Europe wants to ban us from placing adverts such as this
The ‘Girl wanted to share flat’ adverts which fill the accommodation to let columns are to be outlawed by Brussels. Instead, if a group of females want a new housemate, they will have to advertise for a ‘person’.   The latest EU ‘gender equality’ proposals are supposed to ensure ‘sexual equality in access to goods and services’ by preventing differentiation between the sexes.   But an all-party House of Lords report published today calls for a major rethink of the directive.  It says that housing should be exempt from the new regulations…John Redwood, Tory Spokesman on deregulation, said: ‘This is another unwanted piece of business from the EU.  It will mean less accommodation on the market and women worried about their safety.  The EU should grow up and learn to trust people more to live their own lives as they choose.
(Daily Mail, 22 September 2004, page 12)

EU bans ads for girl-only lodgers
Women will no longer be able to advertise for same-sex flatmates under new EU equality laws. The rulings will make it an offence for home-owners to stipulate whether they want men or women in their houses.  Critics fear it will spark a shortage of accommodation if widows, divorcees and groups of singles drop plans to take in lodgers.  And they claim hostels for battered women will be forced to take in MEN as well as women.
The Sun, 22 September 2004, page 17)

Whilst some women may have been discouraged from advertising for same-sex housemates after reading these articles, there is no EU legislation proposed  that bars them from doing so.   New proposals to outlaw sex discrimination in the provision of goods and services have recently been agreed in the council of ministers, but they do not apply to this particular type of private transaction.  People will still be able to let a room in a private house to whoever they want, and there is certainly no chance hostels for abused women will be “forced” to take in men.   Indeed there are specific exemptions proposed where differences of treatment may be accepted if they are justified by a legitimate aim. These include the protection of victims of sex-related violence, reasons of privacy and decency, and the organisation of single-sex sporting activities.  

As with the adoption of all EU legislation the final decision is taken by representatives of member state governments, and at the time these articles appeared nothing had been agreed.

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Please note that all statements in all entries were correct on the date of publication given. However, older archived posts are not systematically updated in the light of later developments, for example changes to EU law.

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