LGBT Real Estate Trade Group Singles Out Leaders Who Have Advanced a
Climate of Acceptance that Benefits LGBT Home Buyers & Sellers
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The National Association of Gay & Lesbian Real Estate Professionals
(NAGLREP) announced today that activist Jim Obergefell, the namesake of
the historic Obergefell v. Hodges Supreme Court case on marriage
equality, and Sherry Chris, CEO of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate,
are the recipients of this year’s Pinnacle Award at its annual
conference this week in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Obergefell, a real estate agent with Coldwell Banker West Shell in
Cincinnati, Ohio, and a member of NAGLREP, became the face of a movement
as a lead plaintiff in the Supreme Court case that would legalize
same-sex marriage across the United States. He entered a legal battle
with the state of Ohio to be recognized as the surviving spouse of his
husband John Arthur whom he married in Maryland in 2013 shortly before
his death from ALS. His case eventually made it to the Supreme Court and
was combined with other suits to become known as Obergefell v. Hodges,
which ultimately asked whether all states must issue marriage licenses
to same-sex couples. On June 26, 2015, the court ruled in favor of
same-sex marriage for the country.
Chris, a 30-year veteran of real estate, has been at the helm of
Realogy’s Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate franchise system since
its inception in 2007. Her innovative, forward-thinking leadership on
next generation consumer trends has made her a recognized expert and
regular speaker at international real estate and technology conferences.
Under her direction, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate has led the
industry conversation about Millennial, Asian and Hispanic homeownership
and, most recently, LGBT homebuyers and sellers through the first
national survey of its kind in partnership with NAGLREP. She was among
the Realogy executives who encouraged NAGLREP founder Jeff Berger to
raise an LGBT voice in the real estate industry.
“NAGLREP is proud to honor these thought leaders who, in different ways,
have led the conversation in a way that benefits the LGBT community. The
era of marriage equality doesn’t automatically mean acceptance of LGBT
people in mainstream America. Meaningful actions, national dialogue and
leadership must continue in order to effect change,” said Jeff Berger,
founder and CEO of NAGLREP.
NAGLREP was created in 2007, but emerged on the national scene last year
with the first real estate trade event dedicated to the LGBT market. The
timing coincided with a national momentum around LGBT marriage equality
and gay rights. Berger believes that a greater climate of acceptance has
contributed to the growth of the organization (30 percent annually over
the past two years) and willingness for LGBT real estate practitioners
to be more visible. The association created the award to recognize
thought leaders such as Obergefell and Chris who have contributed to the
climate of acceptance for LGBT people and have consequently enhanced
their ability to enjoy the American Dream of homeownership.
The National Association of Gay & Lesbian Real Estate Professionals
(NAGLREP), a mission-driven non-profit 501(c)(3) trade association, is
dedicated to providing LGBT people access to LGBT and LGBT-friendly
professionals that can assist them with the home buying and selling
process. NAGLREP advocates housing rights and works to eliminate
discrimination laws that impact fair and equal rights for the Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender community. Based in Jupiter, Florida,
NAGLREP has 1000 members and 35 affiliate chapters. For more information
about NAGLREP, go to http://www.naglrep.com/.
Mary Mancera, (760) 634-5007