October 31, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Starting Tuesday, Airbnb users must sign a non-discrimination commitment affirming that they will treat guests and hosts “without judgment or bias” regardless of “sex, gender identity,” and “sexual orientation.” The peer-to-peer residence rental site released this new policy after facing accusations of racist users.
Airbnb, which allows customers to rent out their homes short-term, told users, “If you decline the commitment, you won’t be able to host or book using Airbnb, and you have the option to cancel your account.”
“Earlier this year, we launched a comprehensive effort to fight bias and discrimination in the Airbnb community,” the company said in its announcement of the new policy. It continued:
As a result of this effort, we’re asking everyone to agree to a Community Commitment beginning November 1, 2016. Agreeing to this commitment will affect your use of Airbnb, so we wanted to give you a heads up about it….
You commit to treat everyone—regardless of race, religion, national origin, ethnicity, disability, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation or age—with respect, and without judgment or bias.
On or after November 1, we’ll show you the commitment when you log in to or open the Airbnb website, mobile or tablet app and we’ll automatically ask you to accept.
The company allegedly drafted the new non-discrimination agreement with the help of former Attorney General Eric Holder.
Hosts and renters are not employees of Airbnb, some have pointed out, and how the company will enforce this policy is unclear.
Misterbnb is a service similar to Airbnb that is designed specifically for the gay community. Its motto is “stay like a gay local.”
In 2015, the Daily Mail reported that Airbnb kicked off a host who refused to rent her home to two men in a relationship. They were scheduled to stay in one of her bedrooms together.
Registered Airbnb users can log in and express concern at the company's feedback form (here) or contact form (here). Others who are concerned can contact Airbnb at 1-855-424-7262 or [email protected].