Thursday, May 29, 2014

Houston City Council beats back lies, fears and passes pro-lgbt ordinance

After a long, contentious meeting, the city of Houston, TX passed an ordinance protecting the rights of lgbts.

From the Houston Chronicle:

After nearly nine hours of discussion, punctuated by opponents chanting outside City Hall and by emotional supporters' personal stories of discrimination, the Houston City Council on Wednesday passed an ordinance extending equal rights protections to gay and transgender residents.

Public dissension has persisted for weeks, but the final vote was 11-6, a count that matched guesses made months ago when Mayor Annise Parker - the first openly gay mayor of a major U.S. city - said she planned to bring the measure forward.

The approval was greeted with applause from the audience, largely full of supporters by the time of the vote, and chants of "HERO," for the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance. Opponents vow to gather the signatures needed to trigger a referendum to repeal the law this November, and others say they plan to seek recall elections against some council members who supported the measure.
 . . . The measure bans discrimination based not just on sexual orientation and gender identity but also, as federal laws do, sex, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, religion, disability, pregnancy and genetic information, as well as family, marital or military status. The ordinance applies to businesses that serve the public, private employers, housing, city employment and city contracting. Religious institutions are exempt. Violators could be fined up to $5,000.

The ordinance vote gained nationwide attention and even commentary from groups such as the anti-gay Family Research Council as opponents threw out the standard memes of "bathroom bills" and "religious liberty," such as:

but those supporting the ordinance were firm and had their facts together:

Still, this issue is far from over. My guess is that opponents of the bill will continue to be stirred on by their homophobia, fears, and outside groups such as the Family Research Council. However, I also believe that Mayor Parker and the supporters of the ordinance are going to dig in and give them one hell of a fight.

1 comment:

Mark said...

You bet your bippy, we are. We're in it for the long haul.