The ads seem to circumvent anti-discriminatory laws, but the intent is still clear: "Perfect for two adults...seeking a maximum of two tenants...couples preferred...Christian atmosphere."
Although the Fair Housing Act makes discrimination against families with children illegal, the classified ads still appear -- not in newspapers, which have been held liable in the past, but on the Internet -- all over the Internet, according to the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA).
The group is turning its attention to discriminatory Internet ads, which are so far allowed thanks to a loophole in the Communications Decency Act of 1996, which holds Internet advertising providers to a different standard than print media, according to NFHA.
"At a time when 2m children and their families have lost their homes to foreclosure and are desperately searching for a place to call home, these discriminatory advertisements slam the door in their face -- denying them even the opportunity to apply for the apartment or home," said NFHA's president and CEO Shanna Smith.
NFHA filed a lawsuit last month against American Classifieds for publishing housing ads in 17 states saying children are not allowed. The Fair Housing Act prohibits housing discrimination based on race, color, nationality, gender, religion, disability and familial status.