The anti-discrimination provisions of the Unruh Act, Cal. Civ. Code § 51 et seq., are not confined only to a limited category of "protected classes" but rather protect all persons from any arbitrary discrimination by a business establishment.
Defendants rented an apartment from plaintiff apartment complex, signing a one year lease which contained a clause excluding minor children. Defendants had a baby. When the landlord learned of the defendants' child, she informed them that their lease would not be renewed because of the presence of the child. After some negotiations the landlord agreed to an extension of the defendants' lease. After defendants failed to vacate after expiration of the extension, plaintiff brought an action for unlawful detainer.
Could the landlord categorically exclude minor children?
The court held that children were a protected class under Unruh Civil Rights Act, Cal. Civ. Code § 51 et. seq., and therefore the plaintiff's unlawful detainer action was not proper.