June 21st, 2007
California Justice Department Investigates CraigsList for Discrimination Against Gays
By Leo Laurence
The Civil Rights Enforcement Section of the California Department of Justice (DofJ) in Sacramento is investigating the very popular CraigsList of San Francisco for alleged discrimination against Gays – a story not covered by the mainstream media.
The state’s Justice Department is headed by Attorney General Edmund G. Brown, Jr., long a strong supporter of gay rights.
CraigsList operates a huge website that covers everything from part-time job listings to erotic services. It covers most major cities in the U.S. and is in numerous foreign countries.
Over the past 8 months, whenever a part-time job offering was posted that included the word “Gay,” the ad was pulled because CraigsList was receiving complaints from homophobics.
A complaint was filed with the DofJ alleging violations of the state’s Unruh Civil rights Act (Civil Code §51) which bars discrimination by any business based on sexual orientation.
That complaint was forwarded to the DofJ’s Office of Civil Rights Enforcement Section.
“This section uses complaints to develop information about patterns or practices of discrimination that might indicate the need for formal investigation or law enforcement action by our office,” wrote M. Vega of the DofJ’s Public Inquiry Unit to the complainant.
“Once a pattern is discovered, what originated as a private dispute may become a matter of broad public interest and thus warrant the Attorney General’s intervention under state and federal civil rights laws,” Vega’s letter added.