Arizona REALTORS® Supports the National Association of REALTORS® Action to Curb Hate Speech
By Autumn Jarrett -
Friday Nov 20, 2020
The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Board of Directors has voted to approve a series of recommendations from NAR’S Professional Standards Committee that extends Article 10 of the Code of Ethics to include discriminatory speech and conduct beyond a member’s real estate practice.
“Our members statewide have long adhered and made the commitment to uphold the principles of fair housing as well as NAR’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice,” says Arizona REALTORS® CEO Michelle Lind. “As new standards and revisions are introduced, we will continue to abide by those strict ethical mandates.”
Article 10 prohibited REALTORS® from discriminating on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, sexual orientation or gender identity in the provision of professional services and employment practices. The recently approved Standard of Practice supplements Article 10 by stating that “REALTORS® must not use harassing speech, hate speech, epithets, or slurs” against individuals of those protected classes.
Other approved changes include expanding the Article 10 Code of Ethics’ applicability to all of a REALTOR®’s activities, not just activities performed as part of their real estate practice. “The new Code of Ethics expansion now takes into account all of a REALTORS® activities,” said Lind. “In considering these new policies, NAR recognizes the importance of advancing equity and fairness in the real estate industry and ensuring access to the American Dream for all.”
Additional guidance within the Code of Ethics and Arbitration Manual assists professional standards hearing panels in applying the new standard by revising the definition of “public trust” in the NAR Bylaws to include all discrimination against the protected classes under Article 10, along with fraud; and continuing the requirement for associations to share with the state real estate licensing authority final ethics decisions holding REALTORS® in violation of the Code of Ethics in instances involving real estate–related activities where there is reason to believe the public trust may have been violated.
While Arizona REALTORS® will be implementing these changes immediately, the changes are not applicable to REALTORS® speech or conduct that occurred before the effective date.