I talked to some housing attorneys at work today about the North Carolina case of the woman being evicted because of her abusive ex-boyfriend. One of them confirmed my suspicion that women who are victims of domestic violence tend to count as a protected class under the housing discrimination laws. Beyond that, the other attorneys nodded affirmatively at some of my other theories about possible defenses she could raise.
From a policy standpoint, because I think evicting the woman on this basis is the wrong thing to do, the fact that there was no clear answer of "this is absolutely, positively wrong" is distressing. But personally, I found it a little validating.
I was concerned, as I explained to one of the attorneys, that even though I'd been working with housing law for a few weeks now I didn't feel I could quite resolve the question. It seemed like there must have been a specific answer out there, and I was distressed that I didn't know it.
But it's a myth that there's but one answer. "The law is not black and white," I was reminded by my boss. Everything is subject to argument, and it seems my instincts on how to do it were just as sound as anyone else's might have been.