Texas Supreme Court suspends Houston Equal Rights Ordinance

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The Texas Supreme Court ruled Friday that the Houston City Council must repeal the city’s equal rights ordinance or place it on the November ballot.

The ordinance was passed in May 2014.

The following is a statement from Harris County Democratic Party Chair Lane Lewis on the recent ruling by the Texas Supreme Court:

I am very disappointed by the actions of the Texas Supreme Court regarding Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance.  Discrimination has no place in our city and the advocates of this referendum hope to scare voters into voting for discrimination.  If this measure does make it to the November ballot, HCDP looks forward to insuring that equal rights for all are upheld.  Period.

Mayor Annise Parker Releases Statement on HERO Court Ruling:

Obviously, I am disappointed and believe the court is in error with this eleventh hour ruling in a case that had already been decided by a judge and jury of citizens.  Nonetheless, we will proceed with the steps necessary for City Council to consider the issue.  At the same time, we are consulting with our outside counsel on any possible available legal actions.

Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance is similar to measures passed by every other major city in the country and by most local corporations.  No matter the color of your skin, your age, gender, physical limitations, or sexual orientation, every Houstonian deserves the right to be treated equally. To do otherwise, hurts Houston’s well-known image as a city that is tolerant, accepting, inclusive and embracing of its diversity.  Our citizens fully support and understand this and I have never been afraid to take it to the voters.  We will win!

Governor Abbott Statement On Texas Supreme Court’s Ruling To Repeal Houston Ordinance:

“Freedom of expression can only exist once government removes itself from stifling free speech, repressing religious liberty and interfering with the lives of its citizens. Today’s decision by the Texas Supreme Court appropriately returns jurisdiction over this matter to voters while reassuring the people of Houston that their personal values remain beyond the reach of government.”

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton today issued the following statement after the Texas Supreme Court unanimously ordered the Houston City Council to repeal the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance or place it on the November ballot:

“I’m pleased the Texas Supreme Court unanimously threw out this agenda-driven ordinance in Houston. Today’s ruling is a victory for Houston pastors and the people of Houston, who will now have their voices heard. The fundamental rights of free speech and religious liberty must be protected, and this ruling is an important step in safeguarding these rights for Texans.”



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