Airbnb host banned for refusing rental to gay couple in Texas

Curtis Kimberlin on Twitter

A gay couple say they were refused a rental by an Airbnb host in Texas after they asked if they would host “two men sleeping together”.

The couple said they were disappointed and began to Twitter to share their frustration.

“Love trying to book an Airbnb with my boyfriend in Dallas and having this be the first response to our booking,” Curtis Kimberlin Jr wrote on Twitter along with a screenshot of their chat with the host.

During the chat, Kimberlin’s partner explained that they would be flying out for a weekend wedding and shared their excitement.

“It will be my first time in Texas and my partner is from Dallas so he will show me around,” Kimberlin’s partner Jonathan wrote to the host, whose name was blacked out in the screenshot. Jonathan briefly summarized their travel plans and told the host to let them know if he had any questions.

The host responded about 15 minutes later and asked, “So, I’m going to host two men who sleep together… right?”

Kimberlin told KXAS-TV that the host refused their request shortly after this conversation.

“I was shocked, for sure, but I’m also a bit used to having to hide parts of myself to calm the reactions of conservatives to my identity,” he told the newspaper. station. “I wasn’t completely surprised, let alone disappointed.”

The couple asked Airbnb for help, and the company suspended the host while they investigate.

Meanwhile, Hilton hotels offered offered them free accommodation while they were in Dallas after seeing their tweet. Kimberlin told KXAS-TV that they accepted that offer.

But the ordeal left a bad taste in their mouths, Kimberlin told KXAS-TV. “If you’re not comfortable around people who look different from you or have an identity different from yours, don’t go on Airbnb,” he told the station. “Don’t be a host on Airbnb. It’s as simple as that.”

Airbnb hosts cannot refuse LGBTQ+ guests based on their sexual orientation or gender identity, in accordance with the company’s non-discrimination policy.

Airbnb told McClatchy News the host has since been banned from the platform.

“Discrimination based on sexual orientation has no place on Airbnb,” the company said in a statement. “After further investigation, we can confirm that this host and this listing have been removed from our community.”

This story was originally published January 23, 2023 5:54 p.m.

Brooke (she/them) is a McClatchy Real-Time reporter who covers LGBTQ+ news and western national parks. They studied journalism at the University of Florida and previously covered LGBTQ+ news for the South Florida Sun Sentinel. When they’re not writing stories, they enjoy spending time with their cats, riding horses, or spending time outdoors.

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