Ex-gay Christian realtor drops license over association's ban on 'hate speech'

A real estate sign shows a home as being "under contract" in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 19, 2020. | AFP via Getty Images/Saul Loeb

A Christian realtor is allowing his real estate license to expire rather than comply with the new requirement from the National Association of Realtors that he and other members refrain from engaging in “hate speech.”

Matt Moore, a realtor who lives in Minnesota, announced his decision on Twitter Friday.

In addition to serving as a real estate agent, Moore creates “digital content from a Christian worldview.” The content available on his website includes a podcast titled “Moore Musings,” blog posts and videos.

“This week my broker informed me that I cannot continue to talk publicly about Christian views re: LGBTQ+ issues if I want to remain with this brokerage,” he wrote.

Moore indicated that he would instead let his license expire than comply with that request, stating that “As of July 1st, I will no longer be a realtor.”

While Moore acknowledged that “there are other brokerages in town,” he cited the “widespread uneasiness about real estate agents talking about LGBTQ+ issues in the public sphere” in light of policy changes implemented by the National Association of Realtors.

Moore formerly identified as a member of the LGBT community and is now in a heterosexual marriage. He uses his platform to emphasize biblical teachings on sexuality.

In a Dec. 10 blog on his personal website, Moore wrote an open letter to the National Association of Realtors expressing concern about changes made to the group’s Code of Ethics, which he warned could foster “discrimination against Christian realtors.”

Originally, realtors were “encouraged to follow the principles of the Code of Ethics in all of their activities,” but only “with respect to real estate-related activities and transactions involving the REALTOR®.” Under the revised policy, realtors will be “subject to disciplinary action under the Code of Ethics with respect to all of their activities.”

One aspect of the Code of Ethics mandates that realtors “must not use harassing speech, hate speech, epithets, or slurs based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity.” 

According to Moore, the new policy “means a realtor can now be reported to his or her association for any perceived commission of hate speech against a protected class in any sphere of his or her life, including on personal social media profiles.”

Consequences for violating the policy range from fines to suspension or termination of membership in the National Association of Realtors.

Moore warned that under the new policy, “Realtors who express a historic Christian view of homosexual and transsexual behavior could become regular targets for undeserved allegations of hate speech." He warned that “there exists no legal or standard definition of the term hate speech in the United States."

He argued that “a mere articulation of Christian beliefs concerning homosexuality and transgenderism” is frequently labeled as hate speech.

“Countless are the times I have been falsely accused of using language that inflicts harm or incites violence upon gay and transgender people," he wrote. "I have been called hateful, bigoted, and homophobic even though I have expressed my loving intentions toward the LGBTQ+ community and communicated myself with gentleness and respect."

In his Twitter thread, Moore maintained that he and his wife “aren’t angry about this.”

Describing the new policy and his decision to give up real estate as “a wrench thrown into our plans,” he expressed confidence that “God’s plan is still in place."

“He will direct us in the way we should go, and we are excited to see where that will be," he said. 

Moore continued the Twitter thread by characterizing his December warning letter as an effort to prevent other realtors, who may “face similar ultimatums if something doesn’t change,” from having the same experience.

Expressing hope that “sharing this will lead to that change,” Moore maintained that “all realtors should be free to share their religious beliefs outside of their job duties.”

“Full disclosure: I am not sure where the line is between seeking the good of others (advocating for religious liberty & policies) and quietly bearing the crosses God assigns to us (the world’s rejection is a sure one). I’m trying to navigate it the best I can,” he added.

“I think my open letter to NAR in which I pleaded with them to reconsider their changes to the CEO is appropriate advocacy. I think stating that I am more or less being forced out of real estate because of the imposition of the COE on my personal life is appropriate advocacy.”

Moore stressed that he is "not looking to bear the political torch” because he has must focus on "Gospel things."

“Perhaps God has called one of you to take up the political torch," he concluded. "But I think he’s called me to move on.”

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