Airbnb is investigating a discrimination complaint at a property in Dallas, where the host reportedly refused to rent to a male couple. The incident came to light when one of the men, Curtis Kimberlin Jr., shared the exchange his partner had over the weekend with the Airbnb host on Twitter. The host, whose name was redacted in Kimberlin’s tweet, questioned the nature of the couple’s relationship, and stated that the two men could not stay at the property due to their sexual orientation.
In response to the incident, an Airbnb spokesperson stated, “Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation has no place on Airbnb, and we take reports of violations of our nondiscrimination policy incredibly seriously.” The company has suspended the listing and host from the platform as it investigates further, and it has reached out to the couple to offer its support.
There have been previous complaints of anti-gay discrimination and racial bias at other Airbnb properties. In December, the company conducted a racial audit through its Project Lighthouse initiative, in partnership with racial justice organization Color of Change and other civil rights groups. The audit found that upwards of 90% of people in all perceived racial groups had their reservations confirmed, but disparities were still present. Airbnb has announced a series of steps to address these disparities, such as investigating reasons for denied reservations and offering resources to hosts about how to be more inclusive.