Randal Coffman of Middleburg, Fla., says his landlord evicted him after discovering that he’s gay.
Coffman told First Coast News that two weeks after moving into an apartment in the FoxMeadow Equestrian Estates, his landlord, Jackie Cooper, told him to leave because of his sexual orientation.
Coffman says that on Dec. 15, Cooper said he couldn’t have female guests over late at night. Coffman replied that that would not be a problem, because he was gay.
Coffman recorded the exchange, which he gave to First Coast News. In the recording, a woman is heard to say: “And you didn’t tell me you were gay until yesterday?”
Coffman answers, “Why would I have to tell you I’m gay? I don’t have to.”
“Do you think I want homosexuals coming back and forth in my place like that?” the woman says. “Listen to me now. You have to leave this place.”
Coffman says he was given 10 days to leave, and that he is looking for a new apartment. “She was very nice at first,” he told First Coast News. “I’ve been gay since I was born. After that, the harassment for being gay started.”
The landlady told First Coast News that she and Coffman had no lease, just a verbal month-to-month agreement (something that both parties agree on). She said Coffman wouldn’t provide a copy of his driver’s license and she complained that his guests were leaving their cars on her property.
Coffman did not return Yahoo Lifestyle’s request for comment, and Yahoo Lifestyle could not track down Cooper.
Attorney Jimmy Midyette told First Coast News that Clay County, where the apartment building is located, does not protect LGBT renters against discrimination. According to the Florida Times-Union, neighboring Jacksonville, Fla., has a Human Rights Ordinance that protects LGBT renters against such discrimination.
story credit: Elise Solé,Yahoo Lifestyle