May 25, 2018, 3:26 PM ET

It's OK to refuse to sell homes to LGBT people: California congressman

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Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher was already facing a tough re-election bid in California’s 48th Congressional District – with 15 candidates running against him, including a former protégé – when he told a delegation of Orange County realtors that it is acceptable to refuse to sell homes to LGBTQ people.

“Every homeowner should be able to make a decision not to sell their home to someone [if] they don’t agree with their lifestyle,” Rohrabacher told an Orange County Association of Realtors delegation at a May 16 meeting in Washington, D.C., Wayne Woodyard, a former Orange County Realtor president who was at the event, told the Orange County Register.

Rohrabacher told the Orange County Register Thursday that homeowners should have "a right to choose who they do business with."

“We’ve drawn a line on racism. But I don’t think we should extend that line," he told the paper. "A homeowner should not be required to be in business with someone they think is doing something that is immoral.”

Rohrabacher’s campaign confirmed to ABC News the sentiments in the comments were accurate.

Campaign spokesman Greg Blair said in a statement that the congressman "does not believe the federal government should force those with strong religious convictions into a personal or business relationship that is contrary to their religion.”

Rohrabacher made the comments to a group of realtors including members of the National Association of Gay and Lesbian Real Estate Professionals (NAGLREP) who were meeting with the congressman to seek his support for including LGBTQ protections under the Fair Housing Act, according to a letter sent by the group's founder, Jeff Berger, to the president of the National Association of Realtors.

PHOTO: Rep. Dana Rohrabacher arrives for the House Republican Conference meeting in the Capitol on Monday, Jan. 22, 2018.Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher arrives for the House Republican Conference meeting in the Capitol on Monday, Jan. 22, 2018.

The National Association of Realtors had included Rohrabacher in its "President's Circle" – a list of candidates it prompted members to donate to this election cycle.

The group pulled the congressman from this list after reports of the comments surfaced, telling ABC News "after reviewing all new, relevant information, it was determined that Representative Rohrabacher will no longer receive support from NAR’s President's Circle."

Rohrabacher is seeking a 16th term in office – he's been in Congress for three decades – but his comments come as he faces his toughest primary yet in California's 48th Congressional District, which is centered in Huntington Beach in Orange County.

The top-two primary, in which the two most-voted candidates will move on to the general election regardless of party, is June 5 – and Democrats had seen an opening as talk of a 'blue wave' in Southern California intensified in neighboring districts.

Democratic candidate Harley Rouda, a favorite of national Democrats to win a place on the November ballot, took no time to condemn the congressman's comments.

"Rohrabacher's comments are appalling and unacceptable," said. "These comments show once again that Dana Rohrabacher has no right being in office and representing the people of this district."

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  • Thomas

    So we can refuse to sell our house to Republicans because we consider them immoral???

  • jjgrandisland

    Dana...fine with me. I would not want to live in your trailer park anyway.

  • LeesburgTony

    "Judge not lest you be Judged" I have lived next to LGBT people and AS A GENERAL RULE-they take care of their property as well as or better than Straights. They are also generally kinder and more compassionate. What happens behind closed doors between consenting adults is their own business.

  • nutjob2

    If you didn't hate realtors enough already...

  • NuuJuce

    It always amuses me how Christians get to decide what are good sins and what are bad sins when the Bible does not label sins that way. The Bible says all sins are bad and all people sin so all people are bad. If Christians want to deny rights to everyone that sins than fine. Otherwise, they are just using their religion as an excuse to be hateful..you know...how Jesus teaches..to be hateful.

  • NuuJuce

    Sinning is contrary to their religion. So, don't sell to anyone that sins.

  • Center_Line

    If Trump can refuse to rent to Blacks,then I guess this guy thinks it's ok to refuse Gays.

  • FfloydZzepp

    Old white men...

  • Save America from Ourselves

    We have to vote these bigoted, racist, prejudice, hypocrites out of office. Regardless of party Morals do matter, Words have consequences. The future of this country depends on our actions to correct the destructive course we are on.

  • Jonah Manke

    NO. It is not okay. you sick scum.

  • Sarah Levine

    Hard to believe we are still having this conversation with imbeciles that insist on shoving their moral code upon the rest of us. You only have to look to the sleazy White House to see the nonsense and lies that the Christian Right will tolerate and condone.

  • Phillip Marsh

    In the video you claim Don't Ask Don't Tell banned openly gay people from serving in the military. This is false. Gay people in the military when found out were dishonorably discharged - they could not serve openly at that time. DADT banned the military from asking about sexuality. Prior to this a gay person who lied and was found out could be dishonorably discharged for lying. DADT made it so that the military couldn't ask if they were GLBTT. If they were caught in gay sex acts they could be dishonorably discharged. President Clinton wanted to do away with restrictions against GLBTT in the military but congress would not allow it and so we got DADT instead.

  • Jackie

    I just found a Democrat that is running to replace this moron and made a donation to force this idiot out of Congress.

  • BobbyBarker

    Ladies and gentlemen, your modern-day Republican Party on display once again.

  • kritikosman

    What about white people?

  • jw619

    The democrats support of gay rights is why they have lost the last 2 elections . This is a christian country .

  • Colinalcarz

    Not everyone who is LGBTQ is trying to be an obvious candidate for drum major of the rainbow parade, why should anyone’s private sexual behavior affect their public dealings?

  • Prophet With Honor

    I've bought 3 houses and never met the owners. I could have been a Martian for all they knew.

  • Bud Simpson

    It would be nice if our nation's lawmakers actually spent a little time to learn our nation's laws.

  • Ima Knut

    Why would anyone care who they sold their house to? Take the money and run. This is very strange and weird. I’m embarrassed to be an old white male. But thank god I’m a Democrat.

  • Jim Enright

    Feel free to roll over and die already you old sack of crap. The world has moved on with out you.

  • jimewins

    One's home is one's property, to dispose of as you wish, to sell to whomever you wish. The Constitution does not give the Federal government the power to take away your property rights.

  • Andrew

    Under King Rohrabacher's rules, I can refuse to sell my home to a conservative republican. Once we head down that road, it turns out of America into some red-neck zone where only the most hateful hypocrite people live in isolation.
    How it is that the people in his district keep electing this bigot Rohrabacher, I'll never know.