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Walsh & Nance v. Friendship Village of South County

Case Concerning Housing Discrimination

Key Date: May 29, 2019 • Case Put On Hold Pending SCOTUS Resolution in Title VII Cases
Legal Team: NCLR, ACLU of Missouri
Type: Housing Discrimination

Latest In The Case:

On July 25, 2018, the National Center for Lesbian Rights and the ACLU of Missouri filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, claiming that Friendship Village is engaging in sex discrimination in violation of the federal Fair Housing Act and the Missouri Human Rights Act.

Following a lower court dismissal, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit took up the case, before putting it on hold in May 2019, pending resolution from the U.S. Supreme Court in related cases questioning whether federal law prohibiting discrimination based on ‘sex’ protects people from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

Case History:

  • July 27, 2016: Walsh and Nance are informed by Friendship Village that they will not be accepted into housing based on the facility’s “Biblical definition” of marriage between one man and one woman.
  • June 29, 2017: In a formal ‘Statement of Position’ in response to the plaintiff’s administrative complaint filed with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the facility’s lawyers confirm that Walsh and Nance were denied housing because they are a same-sex couple.
  • July 25, 2018: NCLR and the ACLU of Missouri file suit in District Court.
  • January 16, 2019: A federal judge dismisses the case, stating that the federal Fair Housing Act does not prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation. The legal team representing the couple appeals to the 8th Circuit.
  • May 29, 2019: The 8th Circuit agrees to hold consideration of the appeal in abeyance pending the Supreme Court reaching its decision in several other cases centered on the question of federal law that prohibits discrimination based on ‘sex’ protects people discriminated against because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Last Updated August 28, 2019

Initial Complaint

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