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Gay U.K. Partners Denied Housing for Not Being a 'Regular Couple'

Gay U.K. Partners Denied Housing for Not Being a 'Regular Couple'


Olympian Greg Rutherford tweeted his disgust after a gay friend encountered housing discrimination.

An English Olympian is calling attention to antigay discrimination in housing in London.

Greg Rutherford, a 27-year-old athlete who won the Olympic gold medal for long jump in 2012, tweeted an image of a text message between a gay couple and prospective housemates they had contacted through Gumtree, an online classified service similar to Craigslist.

According to the exchange, the housemates in the south London residence did not want to live with the partners, George Poole and Matthew Greenaway, because they were not "a regular couple."

"Hi guys, sorry but we are looking for a regular couple," the full response read. "Thanks for understanding."

Poole, the 26-year-old partner who had inquired about the house share, fired back, "FYI we are a regular couple. Homosexuality is not irregular! Thanks for being ignorant." He later tweeted, "Finding accommodation in LDN is more stressful than it should be. Someone pass me the port."

The Equality Act 2010 forbids housing discrimination on the basis of religion, age, and sexual orientation in the U.K.

In remarks to the London Evening Standard, Poole expressed frustration and also surprise at encountering housing discrimination in what he considered a gay-friendly neighborhood.

"It is weird -- it is so backward. We all come into this world as equals, so why can we not all be treated as equals? Especially somewhere like London -- you would not expect that," he said, adding that he's found comfort in the outpouring of support from Twitter users like Rutherford.

"It is always good when an influencer such as Greg can support your message," he said.

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