Gay marriage and the broking industry: Time to get it right

by Mackenzie McCarty06 Sep 2013

A client’s sexual orientation should never come into a lending transaction – and legalising gay marriage would go a long way towards creating an ‘even playing field’ for gay couples aiming to secure a home loan, according to Pink Financial Group spokesperson and Pink Media Group campaign manager, Tyson Young.

With a Federal election taking place tomorrow and gay marriage proving to be one of the campaign’s hottest topics, Young says it’s time for common perceptions about gay couples – not just their legal right to marry - to be updated.

“Brokers should be aware that double-income-no-kids is becoming a lot less true…The same sex demographic has changed and continues to change dramatically. A quarter of all lesbian couples now have children and between 15-20% of gay couples now have children - and with that comes big houses, which means big loans. So gay and lesbian families should be treated exactly the same as  heterosexual families.”

However, Young says many LGBTI couples and individuals feel uncomfortable approaching brokers, who may or may not harbour negative feelings about homosexuality.

“Let’s face it, when you are sitting in front of a mortgage broker applying for a loan, you are exposing your whole private life to them and that leaves room to be judged…One’s sexuality should not come into a lending transaction – the transaction is based on income, stability, employment, savings, credit history etc.  - not on what sexuality you are.”

On a practical level, Young says the way lenders calculate the servicing side can also be an issue. 

“Do they assesses the lending transaction as two individuals rather than a married couple or de facto? This could cause issues in servicing, as living expenses would be based on a single person rather than that of a married couple.”

He says legalising gay marriage would go a long way towards simplifying the home loan application process for LGBTI couples.

“Even though a civil union still has its strengths and the laws regarding them are improving, it’s not on the same playing field as marriage. Marriage is the ultimate security for a couple - heterosexual or gay.”

COMMENTS

  • by Broker Tony 6/09/2013 9:28:12 AM

    I have never done a loan for a gay couple but would have thought you tick the 'de facto' box and they should be assessed as a couple rather than 2 singles. Discrimination is supposed to be illegal in Australia so I can't see any of the banks risking bad publicity or court over this issue. Of course I could be wrong...........

  • by Matt 6/09/2013 9:29:52 AM

    I do not support gay marriage; however, I have done loans for a lesbian couple and treated them the same as any other. Most brokers would be professional enough to treat them equally and without prejudice.
    I do not believe this is a satisfactory argument to support his view.

  • by Matt 6/09/2013 9:30:25 AM

    I do not support gay marriage; however, I have done loans for a lesbian couple and treated them the same as any other. Most brokers would be professional enough to treat them equally and without prejudice.
    I do not believe this is a satisfactory argument to support his view.