Discrimination Based on Religion

The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing (including HOA matters) based upon religion.  This prohibition covers instances of overt discrimination against members of a particular religion as well less direct actions.  An HOA board must be careful that any official HOA actions do not favor one religion or religious view over another religion or religious or non-religious view.  The board members and officers must be careful to ensure their communications and actions do not apply inclusively or exclusively to a person or people because of their religion or lack of religion.

In Utah especially, for many communities, it may be tempting to include religious aspects in HOA settings, such as by including prayer in an HOA meeting.  This is never advisable.  In such a situation, a person of a different religion or of no particular religious belief may easily feel intimidated, outnumbered or otherwise feel that a hostile environment is being created and perpetuated by the HOA which could lead to a claim that the HOA is unlawfully discriminating by making housing unavailable or restricting the use of housing to people because of religion.

See also, Index, fair housing act and discrimination.

Statutes and Cases:

(For reference: 57-8 is the Condo Act, 57-8a is the Community Association Act, 16-6a is the Nonprofit Act)
HOA resources and laws annotated
HOA resources and laws annotated