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Purplebricks de-lists home for sale after vendors’ anti-gay comments

Purplebricks is reported to have removed a property listing from its website when it discovered the vendors - a Christian couple - were opposed to two gay men buying it.

The Daily Mail says purchasers Luke Whitehouse and Lachlan Mantell were stunned when they were told that they could not even visit the three-bedroom £650,000 home in Surrey as the vendors were opposed to 'two men in a partnership.' 

The request to view by the gay couple - arranged through Purplebricks - was turned down, and the Mail suggests the vendors sent passages from the Bible along with the rejection.


One passage reportedly read: “Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.”

The property was listed on Purplebricks and portals, but the agency has now removed the listing. 

A social media statement made to the prospective buyers by the agency, and reported in the Mail, reads: “Thanks for sharing this message Lachlan and we're so sorry you've had this experience. This stance is completely opposed to our views and values. We'll refund this seller's fee as Purplebricks no longer wish to list it.”

And a Purplebricks statement directly to the paper reads: “The sentiments expressed in this message are completely opposed to Purplebricks' views and values. We have contacted the seller to return their fee and request that they sell their property with a different agent.”

You can see the full story here.

Poll: Should vendors be allowed to discriminate on grounds of sexuality?


Join the conversation

  • icon

    We're really pleased to see this action by Purple Bricks. What would the Christian sellers do if the estate agent was Gay as well? How would they know? ?? Do they do background checks on the Deliveroo guy and the Waitrose girl?


    The Christian couple, just like the gay couple and Purplebricks, can do and believe whatever the hell they like. If you think Purplebricks have done this for 'ethical' reasons then I've got a bridge to sell you.


    While they may be entitled to believe whatever they like, Max Boyne, they are absolutely not entitled to do whatever they like.

    They might be able to get away with refusing to sell a property for a reason or no reason, but these buyers would comfortably be able to show discrimination and a hate crime. Purplebricks are right to get well clear.


    Max - i don't think they did it for ethical reasons. I think it's a commercial decision - more and more ppl don't want to do business with bigots there days. No, not all - most. How many clients does an agent need to lose? 1% 5% 10%? Most don't want to lose a single client. Making a stand like this is good business practice: there are fewer fundie religious ppl than accepting, tolerant ppl. Hey ho. Welcome to tomoro.


    @ John Smith

    No, they CAN and should do whatever they like, INCLUDING choosing to not sell their property to a gay couple. I couldn't care less what the law says. The law say lots of things that are both contradictory and stupid. That's what happens when laws are made by politicians as appeasement for overgrown babies and their votes.

    Hate crime? Grow up. It is far more hateful to use the law to force your subjective opinions onto other people who don't share them. Whether Purplebricks are right or not is subjective, and completely immaterial. What is important is their RIGHT to de-list these vendors, which I also fully support, just as I fully support the gay couple and their rights to live openly as a gay couple.

    Everyone discriminates. You, me, everyone. On a daily basis. The word and it's implication are completely overused and misunderstood by the vast majority of people incapable of objectivity and control of their emotions.

  • icon

    Lee v Ashers Baking Company Ltd and others made it clear that it is illegal to discriminate on the grounds of sexual orientation when conducting business. The "Poll question" is really asking if Vendors should or should not be allowed to act illegally.

    Would EAT be running the poll , if the story centred on race?


    I believe that ruling was overturned in 2018 by the Supreme Court, which held that Ashers Baking was not obliged to ‘supply a cake iced with a message with which they profoundly disagreed’. Lee's lawyers challenged the ruling at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), but the case was dismissed.


    As a business owner, I will do business with whoever I want and discriminate based on whatever criteria I want. I couldn't care less what the law says. I and I alone choose who my customers are. When the Government and the pitchfork brigade pay my bills, then they can tell me.

    By the way, everyone, including you, discriminates on a daily basis. The word itself is the most over used and misunderstood in today's society.


    As a business owner, Max Boyne, you really ought to care what the law says, as you and your business are subject to it. Thankfully.

    If you discriminate in your business dealings, there are laws in place to deal with you. Relics of the past like you should be consigned to oblivion.




    Max Boyne, who can't see the difference between discriminating taste [I love those trainers! ...but *not* with socks!] and illegal discrimination [what was once called 'the colour bar', for example].
    And yes, growing up in an imperfect society means we do practice some discrimination. But some of us, when we become aware of it, treat people more fairly. Some, like you Max, not only continue to do it - they celebrate it. Glad you're in a minority. Max.


    @ John Smith

    If you think the law has any sway on the vast majority of people's thoughts, actions and discriminations as they go about their daily business, especially in property, then I've got a bridge to sell you. The right to choose who you sell your goods and services to, and the strategy behind that decision is prevalent in every single successful business I can think of. The law is way down the list of priorities, and, as everyone has long known, is an a**.

    The law and it's oh so beneficial use in society is the reason why agents can longer charge fees to tenants, and a big driver behind rising rents. The fact that it all came about due to political agenda should be ignored right? It's the law, therefore it's correct?


    YOU discriminate in your business dealings. I do it. Everyone does it. And if you don't accept and acknowledge that simple and obvious fact, then you're a simpleton. What do you think a reference is for? Or a credit check?

    And once more, I couldn't care less what the law says.


    @ John Smith

    As for being a relic... yawn. Your reaction to my 'shocking' opinion of believing that people should be allowed to sell or not sell their own property, to whoever they want, based on whatever criteria that they want being that I MUST be a fusty old outdated relic is so predictable and basic that it's tiresome.


    @ John O'Donoghue

    I couldn't care less what the law says.

    Discrimination and treating people fairly are not the same thing. Fair is a subjective term in and of itself. I don't practice or celebrate anything that I consider unfair treatment of anyone. I believe that the Christian couple have outdated and ignorant views, and that the gay couple have been unfortunate to come across them.

    So what?

    None of this is reason enough to take away the RIGHT of the Christian couple to have these views, however outdated and ignorant.

  • Rob Hailstone

    I have just completed the poll: Should vendors be allowed to discriminate on grounds of sexuality?

    At that time, 21% of people are saying yes. I pity any of their family or friends if they happen to be gay.


    Then you're as stupid as everyone else who believes that they have a say in what other people's subjective values and beliefs should be. Either that or you're virtue signalling. I suspect both.


    Well said Rob.

  • Vilesh Rew

    Never thought I’d say this, but well done Purplebricks.

    And as for the person on here who commented that they can sell to whomever they want, if there was a house you wanted to buy and the owners refused to let you because of your race, religion, height, weight, hair colour, etc. then you may have a different opinion, however if you’ve never been on the harsh end of serious prejudice, it’s understandably difficult to empathise with someone who has.

    Having said that, if you believe they still have the right to sell to whomever they please, I’m sure you’ll equally support PB’s decision since they, too, have the right to act (or otherwise) for whomever they please.

    Don’t you just love Friday’s 😄


    That was me. I don't support or not support Purplebrick's decision, I support their RIGHT to make the decision. If they want to de-list that vendor, then it's fine with me, doesn't bother me one iota (although I do pity the people who think PB did it for ethical reasons).

    Like I said, PB can do what they want, the gay couple can do what they want, and the vendors can do what they want.

    I'm overweight and born into an immigrant family. I left home out of necessity at 17, was homeless and lived in hostels. I have been discriminated against, get discriminated against, and discriminate myself, on a daily basis. As do you, and every single other human being. The difference is, that my self identity and esteem aren't tied into other people's opinions of me. I'm not that weak minded or in need of outside validation, so unlike you and many others, I have the ability to be objective.

    In the scenario you mentioned, I would feel disappointed that a property I wanted was unavailable to me because I had the misfortune to be dealing with a small minded individual or people. I would then shrug my shoulders and move on. At no point would I be so arrogant as to think that my subjective opinion should be forced on them, and that the law should be used to do so. The thought of that is much more frightening to me than any discrimination I've ever faced.

    And I CERTAINLY wouldn't think that I was on the virtuous side.

  • icon

    Slightly frightening at time of writing 23% of respondents think discrimination is ok. Please don't stay in the industry if you do.


    The fact you have drawn this conclusion is infinitely more frightening.

  • Matthew Gardiner Legge

    I have no religious leanings one way or the other but I would like to ask the vendors, "What do you think Jesus would do?" He always seemed to me a fairly progressive kinda guy.

  • Richard Rawlings

    As a Christian myself, I find this form of extremism embarrassing and very much at odds with Jesus’ teaching. The seller has quoted an Old Testament verse whereas Jesus’ teaching was to “love one another as I have loved you”. I don’t think he would have approved of this stance by the vendors. Disgraceful!


    As an atheist the bible is full of contradictions.
    With regard to being gay it cheerfully states that gay people will “suffering the vengeance of eternal fire”


    @ Richard Rawlings

    Do you believe however, that they are entitled to this opinion, however at odds is it with yours? Should the law be used to take away their right to have this opinion??


    @ Max Boyne

    Yes, absolutely, that is what we are all saying. The law should be used to its fullest extent to rid the world of racists and homophobes from business and society.


    @ John Smith

    Discrimination doesn't necessarily equate to hate or phobia. Your worldview is so basic it makes me want to cry.

  • icon

    Whilst I do not agree with the vendors they are clearly devoutly religious and entitled to their own opinion. Not one that I share personally.


    My sentiments exactly. Who knew that we'd live in a time when the right to your opinion would be something that was even in question?

  • icon

    I'm not sure why anyone is praising Purplebricks. This is the problem when vendors can write their own listing data - bring back a properly managed Misdescriptions Act and half of their listings would be taken down for just being nonsense.


    Because they're clapping seals who get suckered in by virtue signalling headlines. They don't realise that this is just opportunistic marketing, maybe even fabricated, which wouldn't be at all unusual in the corporate world. Basically numpties with no idea of real life.

  • Roger  Mellie

    Before anyone gets their knickers in a twist, the usual caveats apply obviously. How about religious intolerance? 2 men who love each other very much, take issue with a Christian family who follow and trust in the word of God and the Bible's teachings, outdated or otherwise. Rather than the inevitable cancellation and rent a mob who are likely to show up any minute now, we sit everyone down and explain that certain attitudes are outdated and discuss it like adults over a cup of tea. I fear this is unlikely though.


    There is something much more important at stake here. While I agree wholeheartedly that the Christian couple's opinions are ridiculous and outdated, they ARE entitled to them, and should NOT be punished by the law for having them.

    Discussing it like adults may work, however, it may not, and if it does fail, the side then looking for the law to enforce their will onto the Christian couple, and feeling virtuous about doing it, are just as ignorant (and dangerous) as the Christian couple were originally.


    They are not being punished for their opinion. There is no thought police.

    They are facing consequences for their actions. Nobody is "enforcing their will" on the couple. Nobody is propping their eyelids open and brainwashing them. They are simply not allowed to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.


    @John Smith

    Of course they are being punished for their opinion. The discrimination itself is based on their opinion. They are one and the same thing.

  • Suzy OShea

    So John Smith,

    You don't believe in freedom of speech or belief then! Just a different type of fascist really!

    If pub landlords and restauranteurs are allowed to decide who they wish to serve, then people selling their possession should be able to choose to whom they sell.

    The bakers in Northern Ireland, exercised the same right - to withdraw their labour or service from a customer they did not want. Every worker also has that right.

    • N W
    • 21 January 2022 16:14 PM

    whilst I appreciate your feelings on what is fair and what is not.... it sort of misses that the actual point is "it is against the law"! (calling someone a fascist is hardly helpful they are just stating what the law is - I'm guessing if you are an adult you know the law or if you run a business you certainly should understand discrimination law and if not you are heading for trouble?)

    However, if you feel strongly about it then why not try and change the law but until you do, it is the law and if you break it you do so at your peril. It really is as simple as that!


    They aren't being punished Suzy. An agency is saying 'we won't sell this for you'. Where's the punishment?

    Workers, btw, don't have the rights you say they have. A factory worker has next to no say in who the owners sell to [honourable exceptions aside].


    @ N W because we all know that the law is fair and made for the benefit of society right? No-one's arguing the law, I couldn't care less about it. This is about right and wrong.

    @John O'Donoghue

    Why on earth would, or should a factory worker have a say in who a business owner sells their business to? When that factory work quits, should the owner be allowed to tell them where to get a job next? What a load of nonsense. What's next, tenants having a say and telling their landlord who they will accept as buyers of the property?

  • Suzy OShea

    N W

    John Smith expressed the opinion that people who behave according to their religious beliefs should be expunged from the earth or consigned to oblivion. That was what prompted my remark about his being another type of fascist. His extremism drove me to mine.

    Of course, laws exist to prevent discrimination. However, as I pointed out, if you can refuse your skills, work, or service to one person or another, which is your good right, a basic human right actually, then by the same token you should be able to choose about the sale of your possessions.
    Of course, this couple was perhaps unwise stating their beliefs so blatantly. Just a simple No would have done. Perhaps they live in a very family-oriented neighbourhood with many Christian families living there. Perhaps they have been asked by members of their congregation to be selective in who they choose to sell their house to. Whatever their reasons, it's their house and they can choose.

    Our court system is broken. If you want to evict a rogue tenant it will take you over a year to get a legal remedy. I don't think we need to recommend clogging up the system with waste of space cases like this one.

    This execrable criminal government has made the position of Landlords so criminally dire that even their insurance policies taken out to cover non-payment of rent by rogue tenants has been cancelled because this government has forced landlords to keep these people, poor or scamming, for six months at their expense! No wonder so many are selling up and driving up the levels of rents as scarcity takes hold!

    Since this government is so good at following its own COVID restrictions and laws on socialising, why should any of us respect what passes for the law of the land?

    Of course PB enjoys the same right to withdraw its listing service from people it does not want to serve.

    • N W
    • 21 January 2022 17:14 PM

    Not sure where below it says that people should be expunged from the earth?

    yes you can refuse your services but you cant discriminate either.......

    John Smith21 January 2022 15:34 PM
    They are not being punished for their opinion. There is no thought police.

    They are facing consequences for their actions. Nobody is "enforcing their will" on the couple. Nobody is propping their eyelids open and brainwashing them. They are simply not allowed to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.


    This is the problem with 'the law'. It doesn't stop. Laws originally brought in to deal with genuine and damaging cases of discrimination end up being used for this sort of nonsense. That's because people who many of these laws are used to appease don't stop either. They keep finding more and more things to get offended by in a constant attempt to force anyone who doesn't share their opinions into submission. They are simply bad people.

    @ N W

    The stupidity of the statement that you have copied and pasted from John Smith says it all, and you have just joined in the stupidity. You can refuse your services, have your own opinion etc etc BUT you can't discriminate??

    So what's the friggin point of the law then?

    If the Christian couple had just said no and not mentioned it was because they were gay, they would STILL be discriminating, it's just that no-one would know about it.

    So I ask again, what is the point of the law?

    The simple fact of the matter is, that we DO live in a country where expressing your opinion, or doing what you like with your own property can leave you open to prosecution and / or civil action. THAT is suppression of free will by force, by it's very definition.

    • N W
    • 21 January 2022 18:50 PM

    Max Boyne

    I copied that part of a previous comment as I was trying to see where that individual had said "people should be expunged from the earth" Suzy very kindly came back and clarified that her comment was not correct and then made her pertinent comments afterwards (which I don't fully agree with but as you say we are all entitled to opinion) even you.

    It seems to me as though you are a very angry individual and I feel sorry for you that this is how angry you are.

    For me its quite simple - yes the law is imperfect (every law is) and it probably needs reviewing but neither you or I have the right to proactively discriminate against others for the religious, ethnic or sexual beliefs. Its not rocket science but seems to be for you.

    Now..... rather than being a key board warrior why not do something about it. At present it is the law...… if you don't like it then why not try and get it changed? all you are doing here is ranting to an audience that couldn't change the law even if it wanted to.....

    Purplebricks had every right to rescinding their services and I don't blame them for making that decision. The vendor however (and the agent certainly doesn't if they were to continue acting for the seller) doesnt have the right to discriminate against someone for their sexual orientation. I have had to withdraw my services from clients many times over the years for such potential discriminatory behaviour by a client (we cant break the law)

    Of course we do all break the law, we speed etc and we all take a judgment view on the risk v the reward and the ultimate consequences. If you decide you want to run your business where such actions are condoned then that is your call and suffer the consequences if and when you have an issue with it.

    No the law is not perfect but it is the law. Break it at your leisure, no skin off my nose whatsoever. Just be an adult if you get caught and prosecuted.

  • Suzy OShea

    John O'Donoghue,

    I think the last paragraph of my last post agrees with you.

    A worker has the right to leave their job if they have problems or just dislike their employers.

    They also have the right to strike if they think that their wages have sunk miserably low. I guess we'll be seeing many more strikes with the Tory mismanagement of the economy to worsen supply problems with their cursed brexit which is driving inflation to an acknowledged 6% but probably in reality more like 8%. God knows how high it will climb when all the gas prices filter through! Meanwhile, they have forced public sector works to accept a paltry 3% over a multi-year period. Who can afford to work for that, using their labour to subsidise public services like the NHS? It will crash and burn for want of staff.

  • Glenn Taylor

    I worry that PB have used this episode for there own publicity and I think that is disgraceful. In doing so they are provoking needless argument.
    I would have given the choice to the vendor you see the buyer or you make the choice to sack me as the agent. I would then hold them to contract for 12 weeks to think about the error of there judgment in the 20th century.


    Of course it's for publicity. This is a perfect example of what the media do everyday, why we live in such a political climate, and why there are so many idiots who buy into this nonsense. Years ago it was just the papers and the news that did this, now it's everywhere, all the time. This is the result.

  • Suzy OShea

    N W

    You are correct. I misquoted John Smith, apologies.

    Here are his exact words:

    "Relics of the past like you should be consigned to oblivion" .

    Somewhere else he talked of ridding society of racists and homophobes.

    That shows little tolerance of freedom of thought, speech or belief, hence my comment about a different type of fascist.

    I'll now quote a wise saying by our great queen Elizabeth I, who contrary to popular perception, probably ruled as many Roman Catholics as Protestants. "You can not make a window in people's hearts!". Outward conformity is all you can hope for and fines were used up until the middle of the 18th century to enforce church attendance at a Protestant parish church. How you worshipped in your own private chapel, if you were rich enough to have one was only your concern, if you could smuggle in a priest without detection!

    But where people have a choice over the people they associate with, work for, make things for or sell to, they will always exercise personal choice which is their right provided that they don't blatantly state reasons for discrimination!

  • Rob Hailstone

    "Then you're as stupid as everyone else who believes that they have a say in what other people's subjective values and beliefs should be. Either that or you're virtue signalling. I suspect both."Max Bone

    I must only be stupid then (result), because I have no idea what "virture signalling" is?

  • Samantha Sullivan

    Ex PB TO here.

    Really surprised at this if I'm honest. I remember offering to fully refund a customer out of my own pocket when my LPE was being harrassed, reduced to tears and threatened by a seller who decided to increase their asking price and wonder why it wasn't sold. Instead of PB looking after my LPE they said to transfer him to another of my agents. That was probably one of the last straws before I left.

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