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Airbnb Investigating Host Who Allegedly Denied Gay Couple From Booking
Airbnb is investigating a Dallas-based host who allegedly denied a gay couple from booking on its platform.
“Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation has no place on Airbnb, and we take reports of violations of our nondiscrimination policy incredibly seriously,” a spokesperson tells Travel Noire.
Twitter user Curtis Kimberlin Jr. took to the social media platform and posted an unwelcoming message.
“So, I’ll be hosting two men sleeping together … right?” the host appears to ask when Kimberlin explains he and his partner would be in town for a wedding.
Love trying to book an @Airbnb with my bf in Dallas and having this be the first response to our booking. 🙃 pic.twitter.com/vVN9w1UW1P— Curtis Kimberlin Jr (@ckimberlinjr) January 7, 2023
“We suspended this listing and host from the platform as we investigate further, and we have reached out to our impacted guests to offer our support,” the Airbnb spokesperson adds.
Scrutiny From Marginalized Communities
Airbnb has been under heavy scrutiny over the last several years – especially from users who identify as members of marginalized communities who say the platform hasn’t done enough to address discrimination among hosts.
In 2020, Airbnb leaders launched the Project Lighthouse Initiative to uncover how people of color experience the platform in hopes of making the platform more inclusive.
“Airbnb is built on trust, and we will continue to innovate and design new products and initiatives that increase acceptance and combat bias,” said Airbnb Co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky. “Important insights, including data generated through Project Lighthouse, will drive our work to make Airbnb a place where everyone feels welcome.”
But even with the company’s attempts to move forward, some users replied to Kimberlin about how they don’t feel welcomed on the platform.
I once got a listing removed from Airbnb because they said they wouldn’t allow same sex couples in the description.. insane that they could even post that in the first place but glad Airbnb did the right thing by removing it.
— Maddie Dunne (@MadeleineDunne) January 8, 2023
Airbnb Says It Has A Strong Nondiscrimination Policy
Airbnb says it enforces a strict Nondiscrimination policy that allows them to investigate and take action when these kinds of incidents are brought to the company’s attention.
Airbnb has removed more than 2.5 million people from the platform for declining to agree to its Community Commitment, which requires everyone to treat each other with respect and without judgment or bias.
“Under the Airbnb Open Doors initiative, if a guest anywhere in the world feels they have been discriminated against, we provide personalized support to help find them a place to stay,” a statement on the company website reads.