The News Virginia. A Richmond-area real estate agent is suing the Virginia Real Estate Board after being told she couldn’t include Christian messages on her professional website and emails because of fair housing laws.
In a lawsuit filed this week in Richmond Circuit Court, Hadassah Carter claims the anti-discrimination policy violated her rights to religious expression.
Though she could have removed the material and continued working under extra scrutiny, Carter says the state’s action led her to resign from the Chesterfield County real estate agency where she worked. State records show Carter’s real estate license is still active, but the suit says she “fears making religious statements in connection with her realty practice” because the board could take further disciplinary action.
Carter filed the suit in coordination with the American Center for Law and Justice, a conservative group affiliated with Regent University in Virginia Beach. In a blog post, ACLJ attorney and commentator Jordan Sekulow said it was the state, not a person seeking housing, who complained about Carter’s activity to the Virginia Fair Housing Office.
“No one should have to justify their free speech or their religion to a regulatory body,” Sekulow wrote. “To threaten someone’s job because they express their faith makes free speech unfree.”