- The Washington Times
Thursday, August 29, 2019

A Virginia real estate agent says she was professionally blacklisted for her Christian faith — and its visible expression on her website and email signature lines, according to details in a lawsuit.

Hadassah Carter, a Realtor in suburban Richmond, sued in the Richmond Circuit Court the state of Virginia over its fair housing laws, which she says chills her free speech as a voluble Christian.

Ms. Carter said in court records that she has not worked as a Realtor since August of 2017, when the Virginia Real Estate Board served her a complaint for religious language included on her website and email signature.

“For Faith and Freedom, Jesus Loves You, and with God all things are possible,” reads Ms. Hadassah’s work email signature, according to the lawsuit. Her website also touts John 3:16 and describes, in a bio section, her work as a mission. She also states she is a Christian.

In the 12-page lawsuit filed by a socially conservative litigator, the Virginia Beach-based American Center for Law and Justice, attorney for Ms. Carter claim Virginia’s Fair Housing Law chills their plaintiff’s free speech, by proscribing against expressions of religiosity and “requiring the removal of all religious statements or material on any of their communications, websites, and advertising material.”

According to Virginia’s Fair Housing statute, a Realtor cannot give the impression of partiality with regard to a range of protected classes, including religion. “The use of words or symbols associated with a particular religion, national origin, sex, or race shall be prima facie evidence of an illegal preference,” reads state law.

A media contact for the Virginia Real Estate Board declined to respond immediately to request for comment from The Washington Times.

“The investigation did not find any acts of discrimination by Ms. Carter,” says the lawsuit, which also states she maintains a “religiously diverse client base that includes Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Catholics, and Evangelical Christians.”

“This is a very important case. We’re seeing more of this targeted discrimination against Christians in the name of stopping discrimination, and that’s what’s so absurd about this case is they’re actually doing to her what they falsely claim she has done,” Matt Clark, senior counsel for the ACLJ, told CBN News earlier this month.

Ms. Carter asks for an injunction against the state law, calling it unconstitutional under the Virginia statute on religious freedom.

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