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Colorado landlord's ad: “If voting for Donald Trump, do not call”

Libby Nelson is Vox's policy editor, leading coverage of how government action and inaction shape American life. Libby has more than a decade of policy journalism experience, including at Inside Higher Ed and Politico. She joined Vox in 2014.

A two-bedroom apartment in Grand Junction, Colorado, comes with plenty of amenities — hot tub, organic garden, backyard — and one unusual requirement: Donald Trump supporters need not apply.

The ad is real. And it's legal: Although the landlord, Mark Holmes, told the Grand Junction Sentinel that he's been fielding angry calls from Trump supporters, nearly all states allow landlords to discriminate against prospective renters based on political affiliation.

Federal housing discrimination laws don't say anything about political beliefs. The federal Fair Housing Act forbids discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, and disability. It's also illegal to discriminate against renters based on whether they're married or have children.

Only one state, California, bans discrimination based on political beliefs as part of a broader ban on "arbitrary discrimination." Landlords in California can't choose renters or suggest that certain types of people shouldn't apply, based on any characteristic that isn't directly related to their ability to be a good tenant.

The District of Columbia also explicitly bans discrimination based on political affiliation, as do some other cities. But even in many of those places, Holmes's ad would probably be legal. That's because the apartment is in his home, and most fair-housing laws have exemptions for landlords who live in the building they're renting out.

Holmes said he hasn't had any trouble finding a tenant. "I don’t want anybody that even thinks that Donald Trump can be a good president to live in my home," he told the Sentinel. It turns out plenty of people want a landlord who agrees.