Craigslist sued for publishing discriminatory housing ads

(CHICAGO, Feb. 6, 2006) --  On February 6, 2006 the Chicago Lawyers' Committee For Civil Rights Under Law, a non profit civil rights organization, filed a lawsuit in federal court against the website craigslist ( for publishing housing advertisements which exclude prospective tenants on the basis of race, gender, family status, marital status, national origin, and religion.

From July 2005 through the present, craigslist published over 200 such ads from metropolitan Chicago, with language such as "no minorities," "African Americans and Arabians tend to clash with me so that won't work out," "Ladies please rent from me," "Requirements: Clean Godly Christian Male," "Will allow only single occupancy," and "No children."

The Chicago Lawyers' Committee For Civil Rights Under Law is represented by Laurie Wardell and Elyssa Winslow of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and pro bono attorneys Stephen D. Libowsky and Louis Crisostomo of Howrey LLP. "Discriminatory housing advertisements contaminate the housing market, stigmatize the people who are discouraged or excluded from housing, and mislead people into thinking that it is normal and acceptable to select tenants on the basis of race, gender, religion or family status, " said Laurie Wardell.

"Discriminatory housing advertisements reduce the housing available to persons of color and to persons in other protected groups. Where we live determines our job opportunities, our neighbors and friends and communities, our physical safety and the quality of our kids' education. Housing discrimination injures us all," said Elyssa Winslow. 

For over 35 years, the Chicago Lawyers' Committee, through its 40-plus member law firms and staff, has fought to eliminate discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations. For further information about the Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, contact Clyde Murphy or Laurie Wardell at 312-630-9744, or visit