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Officials: 'No foreigners' sale sign violates civil rights

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Michigan Department of Civil Rights officials say a veteran's front-yard sign advertising the sale of his home violates state and federal anti-discrimination laws because it indicates the owner won't sell to foreigners. A column in the Lansing State Journal says James Prater's sign in front of his home in Mason says "Terms No foreigners Iraq vet" next to "For Sale by Owner." 

Department spokeswoman Vicki Levengood says the sign violates the federal Fair Housing Act, which prohibits "any notice, statement or advertisement" in real estate transactions that discriminates based on national origin. Levengood says the sign also violates Michigan's Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act, which has similar protections.

Mason Mayor Russ Whipple says the sign doesn't represent the city's views, but that no one has filed a complaint.

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