A Dublin-based couple have been trying to find accommodation in Dublin for the last two months – and every time they have been turned away for being gay.
Ian Begley and his boyfriend Eric Wan are recent college graduates who have been searching for a house or apartment to rent in Dublin city, but have found it extremely difficult.
Begley spoke to Ryan Tubridy on RTE 2fm this morning about their situation. He is a journalist, living at home with his parents, brother and boyfriend; boyfriend Wan is Malaysian and unemployed but looking for a job.
“My boyfriend is a recent accounting graduate, he’s currently unemployed so it’s not the ideal situation to move out,” Begley admits, but says that his brother is uncomfortable with the living arrangements so getting accommodation soon would be preferable.
He spoke of how, on numerous occasions, they have been turned down by landlords who do not want gay couples in their houses.
“The first time it was a Polish man. He seemed really nice, he was interested in getting to know who we are. On my way up he said, ‘Are you and your girlfriend going to be here anytime soon,’ I said I’m with my boyfriend. There was a pause, until he said, ‘You’re gay guys. Oh well, that changes everything. I won’t have gay people living in my house.’”
Begley felt upset and angry in response and though Wan told him not to cause a fuss, he contacted housing charity Threshold.
“A women at Threshold said that it was a Class A act of discrimination. She said she would recommend I sign an official complaint by filling out a form, but I put that on the back bench because my main priority is to find a place.”
His interactions with landlords have concluded with all refusing due to his sexual orientation.
“I’ve got it in writing several times. Yesterday, there was a man who emailed me back saying, ‘We don’t let gay people in here, didn’t you read the ad, we have a child.”
Begley also admitted that Wan is an asylum seeker, actively pursuing asylum in Ireland, to which Tubridy responded: “Your boyfriend is gay, Malaysian and unemployed – it’s not a good look, for someone who is very conservative.”
Begley said that since Wan moved here, he’s been a different person, that he loves Ireland, and they will continue to look for a house.
“I’m optimistic and confident we’ll get through it but – it’s disheartening.”
You can listen to the interview here
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