Liptak: Fair Housing Laws 'Tangle of Contradictions'

january 22, 2007  04:19 pm
A fair-housing group has sued the Web-based matching service over allegedly discriminatory real-estate ads, leading New York Times legal columnist Adam Liptak to question the efficacy of congressional attempts to strike a balance between fair housing and free speech. Under the Fair Housing Act of 1968, Liptak notes, discrimination itself is not necessarily illegal when choosing roommates and tenants, but advertisements that suggest as much are. And the Communications Decency Act of 1998 immunizes Web publishers from lawsuits for the same kinds of discriminatory classified ads that land print publishers in hot water.