A Christian realtor is suing the Virginia Real Estate Board, saying she felt compelled to resign after being investigated for a fair housing complaint related to sharing her religious beliefs on a business website and email signatures.
In the state lawsuit filed in Richmond, Hadassah Hubbard Carter is claiming that her First and Fourteenth Amendment rights were violated by the VREB, which filed a Fair Housing Act complaint against her in August 2017.
Carter is represented by the American Center for Law & Justice, a Christian conservative legal organization run by Jay Sekulow, who also serves on President Trump’s legal team.
The lawsuit claims that the VREB’s complaint from 2017 accused her of violating a Virginia Fair Housing Law provision regulating unlawful speech.
In the initial complaint, VREB cited Carter’s email signature line, which read: “For Faith and Freedom, Jesus loves you and with God all things are possible.”
Additionally, Carter was cited for the fact that the personal statement on her webpage quoted the New Testament verse John 3:16, which reads: “For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
The VREB complaint also expressed concerns that Carter’s biography and the statement on her business website promoted her belief that God blessed her in the realty profession and her goal to put “God first.”
The VREB complaint contested that Carter had used “words or statements associated with Christianity, indicating a preference or limitation based on religion, in violation of the Virginia Fair Housing Law.”
According to the lawsuit, Carter and her lawyer sought to resolve the issue through communication with VREB. However, VREB allegedly refused to permit Carter to “make any religious statements on her business website” or “her email signature.”
While the complaint against Carter was pending, she was ordered to remove the Christian-related content from her website by Kathleen Edwards, a real estate broker who Carter served as an agent for while working for Keller Williams in Midlothian.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith