A Vancouver renter says he was shocked when he was told he wasn’t allowed to have his boyfriend stay in his room because it was against the homeowner’s “Christian values.”
Caleb Pheloung says when he agreed to rent a room for the week in a Marpole neighbourhood home, the homeowner, who also lives in the house, told him he’d have to pay an extra $10 per night for any overnight guests.
"It seemed like everything was fine," he told CTV Vancouver.
But when he told the homeowner that he wanted to have his boyfriend stay the night, she changed her tune.
In a series of text messages, the homeowner – identified only as Jenny – wrote "If you guys are gay I cannot allow this to happen in my house."
She added that, as a Christian, she considers homosexuality to be "against God's will."
When reached by CTV Vancouver, Jenny hung up on the reporter.
Despite Pheloung’s shock and disappointment, a lawyer says the homeowner's stance is legally valid.
Section 10 of the B.C. Human Rights Code states a person can't deny tenancy to anyone based on their sex or sexual orientation, among other things. But a subsection says the rule doesn’t apply if the space is being shared.
Since the room was part of a series of rooms in a house being rented out, it's legal, says Elizabeth Reid, an employment and human rights lawyer with Boughton Law Corporation.
"This might be an example where the law and what people think would be right are not necessarily aligned," she told CTV Vancouver from Whistler.
Pheloung has since found another place to stay and says the experience hasn't tainted the city for him. But he wanted to share his story.
“If something like this could impact change, that would be really awesome,” he said.
With a report from CTV Vancouver's Breanna Karsten-Smith