Malik bill makes military status discrimination an unlawful housing practice
STATE HOUSE – The right of all individuals in the state to equal housing opportunities is guaranteed in state law. Yet while it applies to individuals regardless of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, ethnicity, disability and age, one segment of society is not specifically protected.
Legislation sponsored by Rep. Jan P. Malik (D-Dist. 67, Barrington, Warren), would guarantee the same civil right in regard to housing to honorably discharged veterans and members of the Armed Forces.
“After serving, defending our nation, defending our freedoms, service people sometimes come home to learn their desire to live where they choose is denied solely because of their military background,” said Representative Malik. “I can’t begin to understand or explain the reason some renters or property sellers refuse to accept current or former members of the military, but there is bias at all levels of society and it is the duty of government to correct it.”
“We pledge allegiance, and talk about liberty and justice for all, but we don’t always mean all,” said Representative Malik. “We should be proud of and thankful for our nation’s military men and women. We should not discriminate against them in any way, simply because they wore a uniform in the service of our country.”
The Malik bill, (2013-H5109), would ensure that, just as with marital status, military status cannot be used as a reason to prevent an individual from renting or buying a residence. The bill would also prohibit questions about an military status from being asked of individuals seeking to rent an apartment or purchase or lease a home.
The bill is scheduled for a hearing before the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs when the committee meets Wednesday, January 23, in room 135 of the State House at the Rise of the House (approximately 4:30 p.m.)
Co-sponsors of the bill include Rep. Raymond A. Hull (D-Dist. 6, Providence, North Providence), Rep. Raymond E. Gallison Jr. (D-Dist. 69, Bristol, Portsmouth), Rep. Samuel A. Azzinaro (D-Dist. 37, Westerly) and Rep. Mary Messier (D-Dist. 62, Pawtucket).
For more information, contact:
Randall T. Szyba, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903