Accommodation website Airbnb removes listing that banned gay couples

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

Short stay accommodation website Airbnb has agreed to remove a listing that banned gay couples.

The website – which is often used by people looking to rent out their spare room – had carried an ad for a double room from a couple in Hobart, Australia, which said: “We prefer not to host GLB couples.”

Rights campaigners had objected to the listing, claiming it was discriminatory and a violation of the website’s terms of service.

Following outrage, Airbnb agreed to pull the couple’s listing unless they agree to accept that gay users could stay there.

Rodney Croome of Australian Marriage Equality told the Herald Sun: “I congratulate Airbnb for taking swift action to protect its good name and the good name of the Tasmanian tourism sector.

“An accommodation ad that effectively says ‘no gays’ is as offensive and as illegal as an ad which says ‘no blacks’ or ‘no Asians’.”

Steve Old of the Tas­manian Hospitality Assoc­iation added: “I’m glad Airbnb said it was going to do something about it because the couple were in breach of its own discrimination policy — although I can’t understand how this sort of ad even gets on to the website in the first place if Airbnb were serious about their rules.”

“It’s good that Airbnb will crackdown on discriminators. Now it needs to show it is ser­ious about cracking down on people that are operating without proper permits to do so.”

Tasmanian Tourism chief Luke Martin also rounded on the website – which is often accused of undercutting the local travel market – saying: “These are not tourism operators but private homeowners trying to make a quick buck from illegitimate accommodation.”