Houston City Council delays vote on proposed nondiscrimination ordinance

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HOUSTON, TX – It’s going to be another two weeks before the Houston City Council votes on Mayor Parker’s plan to outlaw all sorts of discrimination throughout the city.

The proposed ordinance would forbid discrimination against groups already protected under federal law, and specifically includes lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgendered people.

“This amendment is more than just bathroom crap that has been thrown around by our opponents for the last several weeks, that it is about the human rights of all Houstonians,” said Monica Roberts, a supporter of the proposed ordinance.

The ordinance would cover anyone doing business with the city, businesses that serve the public, and private firms with 25 or more employees. It does not include religious institutions.

A lot of push back is over the feeling that the mayor’s push for greater inclusion of the gay community has not included opposing views like those of the city’s churches and civil rights leaders.

Willie Davis, pastor of McGregor Palm Baptist Church, says, “Don’t try to stuff something down the citizens of Houston, Texas… calling it an equal rights opportunity ordinance, and yet have not went through the oldest organization on this planet, which is the NAACP.”

A visually upset Annise Parker made it real clear to everyone: this issue is personal, “The debate is about me. The debate is about two gay men at this table. It is very intensely personal.”

And that, according to Max Miller, Jr., president of the Baptist Ministers Association of Houston and Vicinity, is one of the big problems with the proposal, “You can’t represent the people of this city on a personal matter. They represent the people, not themselves.”

The City Council voted 12-to-5 to delay the vote until May 28, two more weeks to see if the mayor’s personal agenda will fly with the people who have the votes to help her.