• Source: Deepika Avanti/YouTube
  • Psychic Landlord Refused To Rent To LGBT Family, Didn't See Lawsuit Coming

    A faith-healing psychic in Colorado refused to rent to an LGBT family, allegedly foretelling that their "uniqueness" would disrupt the neighborhood. Her "psychic friend" also advised her to refuse them. Neither saw a lawsuit coming.

    In advertorial YouTube videos, self-described psychic-healer Deepika Avanti of Gold Hill, Colorado claims she gets visions. She says that she can see diseases coming from up to eight years away! That gives her the unique opportunity to intervene as some kind of preemptive psycho-spiritual vaccine, presumably for a fee.

    Somehow, Avanti did not see the unfair housing discrimination lawsuit coming her way, apparently caused by her own prejudiced intuitions. LGBT advocates with Lambda Legal filed that suit on Thursday with a pro-bono assist from the attorneys at Holland & Hart in Denver. It claims that Avanti violated the federal Fair Housing Act and the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act.

    Housing discrimination cases are often subtle and difficult to identify, but this lawsuit seems especially solid. Avanti is a .... how should I put this ... a "unique" and expressive lady?

    Shortly after meeting her prospective tenants Tonya and Rachel Smith and their two kids, the lawsuit alleges that Avanti sent the young family an email worried that if she rented to them, their "uniqueness" would cause gossip within the neighborhood, disrupt the school, and blow her "low profile." She advised that the family of four move to a "larger town." 

    Avanti told the Boulder Daily Camera that turning the family away "had nothing to do with their sexuality." She claims they "would have been too noisy" for her. According to the lawsuit, Avanti has professed her innocence by saying she "has a transvestite friend herself."

    Tonya and Rachel told their story and explained their principles and concerns in a compelling web interview with the Daily Camera. Here it is:

    "Worrying about what the neighbors will say is no excuse for discrimination,” Lambda Legal Staff Attorney Omar Gonzalez-Pagan said of the case via press release. “Tonya and Rachel Smith are loving spouses and parents whose ideal home was denied to them because they are a same-sex couple with kids and Rachel is transgender. That’s not just wrong, it is unlawful."

    “Housing discrimination is a pervasive problem for LGBT people and it is very much underreported,” Gonzalez-Pagan continued. “In many instances, LGBT people who are either overtly or subtly discriminated against in housing do not report the discrimination because of their immediate need to find housing or the costs of pursuing a claim."

    Curiously, Avanti, the lawsuit says, had also cited to the Smiths a Boulder County law prohibiting more than three unrelated people from living in one residential unit. That suggests Avanti doesn't see the Smiths as a family, despite that Tonya and Rachel married five years ago. It was enough to add a measure of family discrimination to the claims of discrimination on sexuality orientation and gender identity.

    The Smiths' lawsuit against Avanti seeks emotional and punitive damages in addition to injunctive relief requiring that Avanti stop discriminatory housing practices and take a fair housing training course, as well as reasonable attorneys' fees.

    All bad psychic jokes aside, Avanti serves as a reminder that hardline religious fundamentalism doesn't have the market cornered on anti-gay prejudice and discrimination. As Lambda Legal's Gonzalez-Pagan said, no matter the motive, it's still unlawful. It's still wrong.

    Hat Tip: Boulder Daily Camera
    Cover Photo: Screen Grab, Youtube — Deepika Avanti

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    • commented 2016-01-17 18:37:15 -0500
      When I read hateful Leviticus 18:22 comments, I tell the person posting it that “if they will follow all of Leviticus, then so will I” – but they go first. I also quote a few choice Leviticus verses to get them started on the path to their righteousness and I provide a link to the book of Leviticus if possible.. That tactic puts the burden right back on the person doing all the preaching – and they usually drop off the radar pretty fast after. Hopefully they will go read Leviticus for themselves.

      I truly believe that most, if not all, of the writers of the bible were just like this lady – claiming a mystical psychic ability to communicate with the deceased and the spirits.

    • commented 2016-01-17 12:32:08 -0500
      Federal anti-discrimination laws do not extend to housing and employment. At this point such protections are very much a patchwork at the state and local level. Fortunately this is Colorado which has a very strong human rights act in place.

    • commented 2016-01-17 07:45:08 -0500
      “Avanti serves as a reminder that hardline religious fundamentalism doesn’t have the market cornered on anti-gay prejudice and discrimination.” Sure, but let’s be honest. This woman was likely born to a Judeo/Christian family, and raised in and steeped in the old testament. That’s where hatred for gays comes – the old testament or Torah.

    • commented 2016-01-17 06:57:13 -0500
      Hugh Young: In a nutshell, I feel that we should be low key just for the remainder of this election year – because (in my opinion) it “might” help us win a democrat for president if the GOP contenders have less arguing points to rub in our noses. With the negative publicity of every LGBT equality lawsuit, the church leaders and many in the GOP preach more and more loudly that it is actually us discriminating against their religious liberty – that we are trying to force them to sin – and part of that preaching is that voting GOP will save the world.

      My priority is that I want to stay married to my partner. because he will get hit up for tens of thousands in tax penalties if our marriage is voided and something happens to me afterwards. There’s been talk about a constitutional amendment to ban our marriages – and it is far more likely to happen if there is a GOP president this next term. I hope personally that the democrats win another 8 years so there is plenty of time for SSM and LGBT equal rights to become more entrenched in our society – so people stop seeing it as “us against them.”

      Because of my own family being full of bible-thumpers that preach far better than they listen – I know first hand just how brainwashed people get into a religion. A lot of people truly believe it’s their duty to god to vote against us in forcing us to live according to their religion. Many are just as “radicalized” about it as the extremist groups in the middle east.

      Hugh – my writings are my own opinions and feelings about things. Could I be wrong – sure. I have been many times before.. Your opinions, and anyone else’s, are just as valid as mine. We all tend to see things from our own place in the sun, but you and I are still on the same team.. Please allow me my opinions without escalating it into who’s right or wrong.

    • commented 2016-01-17 02:59:49 -0500
      Dale Kinneman, your objection is bizarre. Are you saying this couple should let their rights be denied because people will talk? How is your objection different from the "psychic"’s?

      They should sacrifice their right to fair treatment for the sake of the community? But they ARE the community, and a win for them is a win for us all.

      What is the “negative light” that the GOP contenders can cast over it? If the “psychic” was really concened about noise, she could have said “no children” if that is legal – or do you agree with her apparent belief that LGBT folks’ children are noisier than strayt folks’?

      If this couple don’t deserve equal treatment, who does?

    • commented 2016-01-16 21:19:41 -0500
      I’m kind of glad this happened because of the irony. Guess she’s losing business now! For several reasons, obviously.

    • commented 2016-01-16 19:13:01 -0500
      Religious extremism know no law but their own. Psyches are the worse and total frauds. I am waiting the verdict.

    • commented 2016-01-16 15:56:37 -0500
      I wish that gay couple would have just moved on and found another place – and not sued – especially before a presidential election where the bigots that are democrat leaning now will vote for anyone in any party that will protect their right to discriminate. Discrimination is wrong, but the publicity of these cases costs us all far more than that one couple will ever get in court. This will be discussed over and over in a very negative light by the GOP contenders – probably within hours. We have so much to loose with the wrong president.

      I don’t see a world where we all live together without pre-judging and discrimination – ever. Black populations mass together – I wish we would do the same and move to some Emerald City location close to work. Maybe I’ve given up on the religion vs equality fight to an extent, but I think I’m facing reality in doing so.

    • commented 2016-01-16 11:29:07 -0500
      Consider leaving this psych twit a “hug” at:

    • commented 2016-01-16 11:02:46 -0500
      This is what happens when you spend every weekend tripping your face off. Deepika is brain damaged…AND a bigot.

    • commented 2016-01-16 10:32:32 -0500
      Good for them. I am sure they will win but it will be a long road to the finish. I thanks these women for standing up, not only for themselves and their kids, but for all of us.

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