Tuesday, June 05, 2012
National Guardsman claims Boston landlady refused to rent to him over war service
A National Guardsman who served in Iraq and Afghanistan is reportedly suing a Massachusetts woman he tried to rent from, claiming the landlady told him his war service presents a "conflict of interests."
Sgt. Joel Morgan, 29, said he tried to rent a two-bedroom apartment in Boston from property owner Janice Roberts, 63, in April, the Boston Herald reported. But Morgan claims the woman later told him in a message left on his phone that renting to him would be problematic, saying, "We are very adamant about our beliefs," according to the newspaper.
"It just is not going to be comfortable for us without a doubt. It probably would be better for you to look for a place that is a little bit less politically active and controversial," Morgan claims Roberts said, according to his complaint -- a copy of which was obtained by the Herald.
"For her to do that to me, it was like a spit in the face," Morgan told the newspaper. "For what we have gone through overseas, to come home to our country and have people ... discriminate against us. ... It made me extremely insecure about being a soldier."
Roberts wrote in a "response" to Morgan's attorney, Joseph L. Sulman, that she has belonged to a civil-rights group called Garden of Enlightenment since 2000, according to the newspaper. She reportedly wrote that "This bodes the question, 'Why would someone like Joel Morgan, who apparently fought so valiently (sic) in wars in which he believed, want to even choose to subject himself to renting an apartment from people -- like myself -- who were so vigorously seeking an end to the Iraq War??’
"There was never any mention to Morgan that his being a veteran would impede his chances to rent from us. If anything, he was a victim of U.S. greed, and for that, I feel much empathy," she said.