This is a text message received by George Poole, a 26-year-old marketing consultant moving to London with his boyfriend. It went viral after being tweeted by Mr Poole's friend, the Olympic long jumper Greg Rutherford.

Mr Poole, 26, told the Evening Standard the message was in response to an inquiry about a flatshare in Clapham, south London, that had been advertised on Gumtree.

"It is so backward. We all come into this world as equals so why can we not all be treated as equals?", he said. "Especially somewhere like London - you would not expect that. And Clapham itself is generally considered quite gay friendly."

As Mr Rutherford put it, "it's the use of 'regular' that's offensive here", rather than the notion people can choose who they want to live with.

Under the 2010 Equality Act it is illegal for a landlord to refuse to rent someone premises because of their sexual orientation.

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