Dallas Airbnb host refuses to book gay couple

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Airbnb is investigating a discrimination complaint at a Dallas property where the host refused to rent to a male couple.

On Twitter, Curtis Kimberlin Jr. shared the exchange his partner had over the weekend with the Airbnb host. Kimberlin’s partner, Jonathan, noted that the couple were coming to Dallas for a wedding and that Dallas native Kimberlin would show Jonathan around.

The use of the word partner apparently set off an alarm for the host, who replied, “So I’m going to host two men who sleep together… right?” The host, whose name was redacted in Kimberlin’s tweet, then told the couple they couldn’t stay at the property.

Respond to a request from an online publication black travel, which focuses on travelers of color, an Airbnb spokesperson said, “Discrimination based on sexual orientation has no place on Airbnb, and we take reports of violations of our policy very seriously. of non-discrimination.”

“We have suspended this listing and this host from the platform while we investigate further, and have reached out to our affected guests to offer our support,” the spokesperson added.

There have also been other complaints of anti-gay discrimination as well as racial bias at Airbnb properties. “Once a listing was removed from Airbnb because they said they wouldn’t allow same-sex couples in the description,” one Twitter user wrote in response to Kimberlin. She said it was “insane that they could even post this in the first place”, but she was “glad that Airbnb did the right thing by removing it”. Another commenter shared that he was turned away when an owner “saw my brown face” after her white fiancé made the reservation.

Airbnb hosts are independent, but the company expects hosts using its platform to meet certain standards. In December, he released a racial audit he had conducted as part of his Project Lighthouse initiative, developed in partnership with racial justice organization Color of Change and with input from other civil rights groups. It revealed that more than 90% of people from all perceived racial groups had their reservations confirmed, but there were still disparities.

“The greatest disparity exists between customers perceived as black and customers perceived as white; customers perceived as black were able to successfully book the stay of their choice 91.4% of the time, compared to 94.1% for customers perceived as white,” according to a Airbnb press release. Airbnb announced a series of measures to address the disparities, such as investigating why reservations were declined and offering resources to hosts on how to be more inclusive.

“Airbnb is built on trust, and we will continue to innovate and design new products and initiatives that increase acceptance and combat bias,” company co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky said in the release. hurry. “Important insights, including data generated by Project Lighthouse, will guide our work to make Airbnb a place where everyone feels welcome. We cannot do this work alone, and our partners have provided us with feedback incredibly valuable. I am deeply grateful for their insight.

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