Canada | Gay Rights | Vancouver

Vancouver Man Denied Housing For Being Gay: VIDEO

Jonathan Pretty Ted Salatellis

25-year-old Jonathan Pretty found a great suite in a house in Kitsilano that met all of his housing needs. He spoke with the landlord Ted Salatellis, got all of the paperwork signed, and even paid the damage deposit to prepare to move in. Then he received a call from Salatellis later that day: because Pretty is gay, he felt that Pretty's boyfriend being around would upset his wife and the families with children next door and upstairs, and therefore could not rent to him. When Pretty asked, explicitly, that he was being denied housing because he was gay, Salatellis said "yes."

Global News interviewed Salatellis himself as a follow up to Pretty's claims to get his side of the story. The man provided a bevy of contradictions, saying that he has no problem with gay people and did not deny Pretty because he was gay, but then also saying:

He say he has a boyfriend, and he come in, well you know boyfriend come in and they kiss each other and people live upstairs and downstairs and I no like that.

He also exposed his ignorance of HIV, fearing that Pretty might have it and that he was scared after having been around guests with HIV at a hotel he used to work at, apparently unaware that HIV is not transmissible via kissing, sharing drinking glasses, or failing to wash one's hands after using the restroom.

Pretty has filed a complaint with the BC Human Rights Tribunal for violation of Section 10 of The Human Rights Code, which prohibits discrimination based upon race, colour, ancestry, place of origin, marital status, family status, physical or mental disability and gender or sexual orientation. An unembeddable video interview can be seen on Global News' webpage.

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  1. Ignorant pig! I'd sue his ass off!

    Posted by: Peter | Dec 24, 2013 3:43:59 PM

  2. great news! The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms has our back! :D

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Dec 24, 2013 3:48:07 PM

  3. Deny housing specifically for being gay here in the U.S. and your legal settlement will be enough to buy yourself a new house! That's one thing we do not put up with here.

    Posted by: Mike Ryan | Dec 24, 2013 3:55:04 PM

  4. Now let me see if I have this right. The landlord wanted to rent to this guy, the paperwork was signed, the deposit was received, the guy was ready to move in… and… and… later (after the landlord talked to his wife), the landlord said that his wife objected.

    You know, I don't always agree with Rick, the Towleroad commenter, but I have to say that these types of stories are becoming more and more common. The average straight guy is fine, but his wife or girlfriend is upset that gay or bisexual men exist. Yes, I know that there are some high-profile homophobic men, but they are professional homophobes, which is to say, they make their living by being high-profile anti-gay religious or political spokesmen. If you're looking at a percentage of the population, there aren't too many of those. The people in this post are typical everyday people, not famous religious clergymen or radio talk show hosts.

    Posted by: Artie_in_Lauderdale | Dec 24, 2013 3:57:44 PM

  5. Ya know, being an older gay (63) and seeing older peoples reactions to the "new gay" world. I can empathize with the older generation. I think that many of MY generation still need to be gently taught that what they have believed all their lives is a lie. Let the truth be shown and things will get better.

    Posted by: gordon | Dec 24, 2013 4:00:28 PM

  6. Actually, Mike Ryan, in most States gay people are totally allowed to be denied housing. LGBT people aren't protected from housing discrimination in the USA. Sad, but true. It's Canada that actually has protections on the books, not the US.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Dec 24, 2013 4:06:31 PM

  7. I'm sorry but don't gays obsess about HIV/AIDS being a gay disease? So much so that gay men should NEVER not wear condoms because anal = aids??

    Posted by: Rowan | Dec 24, 2013 4:10:49 PM

  8. I live in Vancouver & that landlord pretty much dug himself a grave with that interview. That area is a gay-friendly neighborhood. He'll be fined.

    Posted by: Scar2 | Dec 24, 2013 4:28:11 PM

  9. Rowan-
    WTF? Being careful does not make one obsessed. And wearing a condom if engaging in anal sex is very different than some ignorant fool thinking he is going to get it from being in close proximity to gay people.

    Posted by: shawnthesheep | Dec 24, 2013 4:34:27 PM

  10. @MIKE RYAN -- Actually it's still legal in 29 states in America to deny someone housing or employment for being gay. In Canada it's against our Charter of Rights. It's illegal.
    Our Charter of Rights is what actually allowed our government to pass same-sex marriage laws more than a decade ago.

    The aptly named Pretty will win his case.

    Posted by: Gigi | Dec 24, 2013 5:16:41 PM

  11. @Rowan : using a condom while engaging in various sex acts is no more "obsessive" than buckling a seat belt before driving a car.

    BTW, straight guys should use condoms too. For HIV in particular, the transmission rate is higher for male to female than for female to male, so not using a condom is like being one of those jerks who will drive a large SUV or small truck and think nothing of tailgating a compact car.

    Posted by: Bill | Dec 24, 2013 6:12:47 PM

  12. It isn't very pretty what a town without Pretty can do.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Dec 24, 2013 6:21:04 PM

  13. @Rowan

    Considering world-wide the number of straights with HIV far out number Gayd with HIV you should just shut your mouth. Stupid is falling all over your shoes.

    Posted by: q | Dec 24, 2013 7:10:38 PM

  14. Any man who hates gay men is a gay or bisexual man.

    Women who hate gay men are total narcissists.

    Posted by: grant | Dec 24, 2013 7:50:23 PM

  15. @ Rowan..

    wrong. but w/e you're stupid.

    before aids, syphilis was the biggest STD, and you know what? It was never called the "straight persons" disease.

    Stop thinking of an std in terms of who has but in the idea that anyone can have it, yet, furthermore - stop thinking of stds as complicit with any certain demographic - That is evil thinking.

    I don't have any STDS, but I always say - about HIV/AIDS, specifically - I'm so positive, I'm negative

    Grow up !

    Posted by: grant | Dec 24, 2013 7:55:02 PM

  16. It's the landlord's property. He can do what he wants. I respect the guy for thinking about his wife and how she would feel. Anyway, Vancouver is a big city so Mr. Pretty (lol!) should have no trouble finding another place.

    Posted by: Tyler | Dec 24, 2013 10:45:39 PM

  17. Tyler - you are 100% wrong. Read the posts above. It is against the law in BC to discriminate against a gay person when offering accommodation to the public. I cannot believe that you are so ignorant of the Diversity laws that are part of Canadian consciousness and have been for many years...

    Posted by: Bodhi | Dec 25, 2013 9:24:05 PM

  18. And for all of you who think it's the Gay's making offensive remarks regarding race etc need to look no further than the homophobe troll name TYLER above. They are always here commenting.

    Posted by: TrollHunter | Dec 26, 2013 7:39:06 AM

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