Houston's LGBT Non-Discrimination Ordinance Heads To City Council For A Vote

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Houston Mayor Annise Parker's LGBT Non-Discrimination Ordinance will be brought to the full council for a vote on Wednesday, May 7th.

The equal rights ordinance has faced opposition by Republicans since Parker first called for an LGBT non-discrimination ordinance in her inaugural address. Knowing they are on the losing side of history, Republicans and conservatives in Houston have since resorted to using ancient homophobic phrasing to stir an opposition, calling the proposed legislation the “Sexual Predator Protection Act.”

Read more of the fight to pass Houston's NDO below the jump.A committee hearing was held open to public opinion last week, in which Parker presented the measure to over 200 Houstonians in attendance. The ordinance is being supported by the major LGBT civil rights organizations — Human Rights Campaign, Equality Texas, and the Houston GLBT Political Caucus — as well as Houston's Chamber of Commerce, the AFL-CIO, and pro-equality clergy.

The Equal Rights Ordinance seems poised to pass Wednesday.

Of course, this hasn't stopped conservatives and Republicans from trying to create opposition to the measure. In a desperate attempt to try and stop the ordinance, opponents of equality have resorted to lying about what the measure does, trying to scare conservatives voters into thinking children and Christians are in danger.

President of the Conservative Republicans of Texas (CRT), Steven Hotze, sent out an email letter last week calling the LGBT ordinance the “Sexual Predator Protection Act.” In the letter, Hotze claims the equal rights ordinance “would allow men to put on women's clothing and go into a female bathroom or locker room in both public and in private business locations open to the public.”

Attempting to portray LGBT people as child molesters shows to what desperate lengths Republicans are having to go to in order to try to create an opposition to the ordinance. It also shows just how out of touch these people are not only to the majority of people in Houston, but to the rest of Texas and the United States.

Right-wing organization, Texas Values, claims the equal rights ordinance is “a threat to public safety, Christians, and the private sector of Houston.” The group is comparing Houston's ordinance to San Antonio's recently passes NDO, calling it an “anti-Christian ordinance.” The group, of course, is conveniently dismissing the large number of people of faith that support the legislation. Many people of faith gathered to show their support for equality in both San Antonio's and Houston's ordinance meetings.

Anti-gay opponents have gone to great lengths to vilify the LGBT community in Houston; making it clear just how badly this ordinance truly is needed.

The people of Houston simply deserve better.

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About Author

Omar Araiza

Staff writer Omar Araiza covers immigration, Latino voters, the U.S.-Mexico border, and LGBT issues. He is a proud South Texas native, born and raised in the lower Rio Grande Valley. Omar tweets from @AraizaTX.

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