“For any person to make, print, or publish, or cause to be made, printed, or published any notice, statement or advertisement, with respect to the sale or rental of multiple dwelling, contiguously located, publicly assisted or other covered housing accommodations that indicates any preference, limitation, or discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation..., national origin, genetic information, ancestry, children, marital status, public assistance recipiency, or handicap or an intention to make any such preference, limitation or discrimination except where otherwise legally permitted.”

— Excerpt 7B from Chapter 151B: Section 4, of the General Laws of Massaachusetts

1946: Chapter 151B,
Massachusetts Fair Housing Law

Initially 151B outlawed discrimination based on:

  • Race
  • Color
  • National Origin
  • Ancestry
  • Religious Creed

Over subsequent years, additional protected classes were added:

  • 1950: Age
  • 1965: Sex
  • 1973: Marital Status
  • 1983: Disability
  • 1983: Familial Status
  • 1989: Sexual Orientation
  • 2000: Genetic Information
  • 2004: Veteran history/military status
  • 2006: Source of Income

The Massachusetts Fair Housing Law was passed in 1946; more than twenty years before the Fair Housing Act would eventually be passed by Congress (see Fair Housing Act).

Here are some examples of discriminatory actions:

  • discriminatory ads and statements
  • different terms and conditions for different people
  • steering
  • harassment
  • intimidation and retaliation
  • outright denial of housing or services
  • preventing families with children from renting a property due to lead paint