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LGBT Discrimination Charged in St. Louis CCRC

Category: Active adult communities

August 20, 2018 — It wasn’t like Mary Walsh and Beverly Nance hadn’t done their homework. They had visited Friendship Village Sunset Hills, a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) in St. Louis, MO many times. They had dinner with friends who lived there. They especially liked the continuum of care offered by a CCRC, and the ability to age in place no matter what the future might bring. The people they met seemed friendly and they both felt comfortable; this was the ideal place for their retirement. Soon they had negotiated a deal on a $235,000 two bedroom apartment, and put down a small deposit.

Then the trouble started. Management of this faith-based, non-denominational non-profit wanted to know what the relationship was between the two women. Answer, the two women had been married since 2009. Then the deal had a hiccough, and ultimately their application was turned down, based on its cohabitation policy, which was limited to siblings, parents and children, or spouses. Like any retirees should, the couple obviously had done a lot of homework in deciding where they wanted to live. In spite of that they were blindsided.

Since then women have sued the CCRC, alleging sex discrimination. According to the NY Times, in the community’s policy: “The term ‘marriage’ as used in this policy means the union of one man and one woman, as marriage is understood in the Bible”.

The case is similar in some ways to the famous one going on now having to do with a baker who refused to provide a cake for a gay couple, based on religious reasons.

Mary and Beverly still want to live in Friendship Hills, despite all this. Earlier, according to the Times, they had been interested in a Lutheran retirement community. After asking an administrator if there would be a problem with a married lesbian couple entering that community, he said: “No”, and looked at me like, “Why would you ask me such a silly question?”

Comments are closed on this Blog post, since they started becoming repetitive.

For further reading
Check out the LGBT category in the Topretirements Blog. You can also search for LGBT oriented communities in our Advanced Search (Private Communities), where we have 11 such communities listed)

Posted by Admin on August 19th, 2018


  1. Shameful how people, and in many cases “religious” “Christian” people are so biased and bigoted towards peacefully living people.

    by Sue — August 20, 2018

  2. Sorry, Sue, but you are wrong in my opinion.
    The two females have every right to live as they choose but the community has the right to say no as well. It is not biased or bigoted… it is merely their rules and regulations for their community. If people would just follow the rules instead of making an issue out of them and thinking they’re the exception and should get what they want when they want it, it would be better for all. No need to turn it into something it is not.

    by Brenda — August 20, 2018

  3. For more than half the twentieth century and earlier there were “rules and regulations” in many parts of America that required that blacks could not attend white public schools. Many segregationists claimed that religious beliefs were behind their position. That was not right and the matter was taken to the Supreme Court, which righted that wrong and said our Constitution did not allow for such segregation. The Supreme Court has also ruled that our Constitution allows and protects same-gender marriages. It’s a shame that this situation in St. Louis must also be taken to the courts, as the couple is apparently doing, and we shall see how that goes. This particular CCRC/retirement community is a public accommodation, not a private church. As for this matter being discussed on this retirement website, this is very much a retirement issue for LGBT people as they look for the best place for them to retire. It’s not political; it relates to the way they’re going to live the last years of their lives. And even if LGBT people are only 5-10% of the population, their retirement choices are an appropriate subject at times in this forum. Lots of us are members of various minority groups.

    by Clyde — August 20, 2018

  4. The US Supreme Court is about to decide this issue. Is sexual discrimination strictly about male and female issues or, more broadly is it about gender and relationship choices. Until then it’s a m/f only issue.

    This is also involves the right of religious choices. Tradionalists that don’t believe in same gender relationships have a right to pick whom they associate with.

    The question than becomes one of extent to housing and commercial situations.

    If this is a private community than the affiliated (members) may have their rights extended to include those they wish to allow join their community.

    Consider this: do they have a right to exclude a convicted criminal? Or anyone they deem to have violated God’s laws?

    Comparing this to racial or ethnic discrimination makes no sense (except from a tolerance perspective). There is no choice involved in those cases; you are what you are.

    by Bob — August 21, 2018

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