Houston Mayor Annise Parker Introduces Sweeping LGBT Anti-Discrimination Bill
The City of Houston has now posted the draft language of the ERO (Equal Rights Ordinance) on its web site. A large coalition of LGBT and non-LGBT groups contributed to getting this ordinance to this point, including pressuring the Mayor and Council to include private employers in the non-discrimination provisions. LGBT organizations included Equality Texas, HRC, Out & Equal Houston, Log Cabin Republicans, Stonewall Democrats and the Houston LGBT Caucus.The next step (after the draft is circulated to Council) is for it to be put on the agenda. The target vote on the ordinance is for mid-May.Read the full proposed bill.
You might recall that the entire anti-gay industry lost their minds when San Antonio first introduced its ultimately successful version of a bill much like Houston's. Will we see yet another vicious and ugly battle?
The Human Rights Campaign praises Mayor Annise Parker via press release:
Today Houston Mayor Annise Parker introduced the Equal Rights Ordinance, which if passed, will protect all Houstonians from discrimination in the workplace, housing, and public accommodations. The proposed ordinance covers both public and private workers from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. In addition to sexual orientation and gender identity, the ordinance will also prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, familial status, marital status, military status, religion, disability, genetic information, and pregnancy. Human Rights Campaign (HRC) National Field Director Marty Rouse issued the following statement: “We thank Mayor Parker for her leadership on this commonsense legislation. It is far past time to protect the citizens of Houston from all forms of discrimination, including discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. “As the nation’s fourth largest city, Houston is an epicenter for business and culture. Cities thrive when all citizens feel welcome and part of the cultural fabric. Today, Mayor Parker told every Houstonian that they are a valued part of the city’s future.” Mayor Parker intends to present the draft ordinance to the City Council’s Quality of Life Committee on April 30. Consideration by the full City Council is scheduled for May 7.