City Desk

Bro Roommates Ad Not a Violation of Housing Law


Yesterday's "renaissance bro" ad on Craigslist delighted and shocked the local Internet, even earning the pair a date offer. But it got me wondering: did the bros' insistence that women not apply ("I like to bed you, but not live with you") qualify as housing discrimination by gender?

The issue of Craigslist ads as gender discrimination has come up at City Paper in the past. In 2010, Amanda Hess nailed a previous ad for a Mount Pleasant "Temple to Broseidon" for gender discrimination, among other transgressions.

D.C. law prohibits posting ads for housing that discriminate on gender. But according to Elliot Imse, a spokesman for the Office of Human Rights, the renaissance bro ad is, while sleazy, not illegal. "The prohibitions against 'differentiating' applicants based on gender does not apply when you are sharing a living space, such as a kitchen or bathroom," he writes in an email.

So party on, bro pack. You're on the right side of the law, if not good taste.

Bro picture by Shutterstock.

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  1. #1

    I'm pretty sure that exception is clearly spelled out in CL's terms when posting a housing offer. While this ad is ridiculous, it's a common-sense exception for many people. Forcing shared housing to be offered without regard to sex would infringe on other civil rights, most obviously, the free practice of religion.

  2. #2

    What a worthy topic to discuss. Very enriching.

  3. #3

    The gender discrimination nazis need to can it. Women are much more likely than men to demand that a potential roommate share their gender.

  4. #4

    Cute, but I've seen plenty of (unamusing) craigslist ads clearly stating a preference for a female roommate (among other females). Feel free to complain about those when you come across one.

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