First year graduate student Stephen A Ray '81 said yesterday that he understand why the College's refusal to adopt a policy of non discrimination towards gays means so much to members of the Gay Students Association.
Last spring. Ray applied for housing to Harvard Real Estate, which manages properties for the University, and was turned down he says because he is gay.
"This is one of probably the most glaring examples around of what happens when there isn't any policy to prevent discrimination against gays. Ray said of HRE's refusal to rent a one bedroom apartment to him and his lover, Jeff Trani.
HRI President Sally Zeckhauser refused comment last night.
Meeting With Zeckhauser
Ray explained that as an undergraduate member of the Harvard Lesbian and Gay Coordinating Committee, he had met with Zeckhauser during a University wide effort to elicit non discrimination policy statements on housing employment and admissions.
"She [Zeckhauser] did not say he would look into it Ray said "My impression was that she felt her hands were tried [by the University]" he added.
HRI officials twice told Ray that they rent housing only to individuals affiliated with Harvard or their spouses, he said.
Ray recalled that when he applied with Trani for affiliated housing last year he was told that two apartments were reads for my mediate occupancy.
I felt we were lucky Ray said adding however that he was later told that he and Trani were not "eligible" because Trani was not affiliated with Harvard and was Ray's lover.
It is discrimination Ray said of HRI housing policy because in heterosecial relationships the option is there to marry to conform with the housing policy. "We don't have that option," he said.
Ray explained that HRI housing stance is "most glaring" because of the city-wide housing shortage. "There are so many gay couples in Cambridge chasing after apartments that it would be tremendous help if Harvard had a non-discrimination policy," he added.