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Houston mayor: Passing a non-discrimination law is ‘something we should do’

Friday, September 20, 2013

HOUSTON — San Antonio’s recent passage of an LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination ordinance leaves Houston, the nation’s fourth largest city, as the only major metropolitan area in Texas without its own citywide ordinance, and mayor Annise Parker says the city should follow suit.

Annise Parker

Annise Parker

“It is absolutely something we should do, and the majority of council members have publicly stated they are in support of a nondiscrimination ordinance,” said Annise Parker, the first openly gay mayor of a major American city. “But this is an issue that requires all of council to be engaged and agree it is time to move it forward. When it happens, we will do that.”

Unlike other Texas municipalities, Houston has a charter amendment that makes the council unable to pass an ordinance without voter approval.

But, says Parker, “the majority of council members have publicly stated they are in support of a non-discrimination ordinance.”

“This is an issue that requires all of the council to be engaged and agree it’s time to move it forward,” she said. “We watched what happened in San Antonio and we’ll certainly talk to them about the process and then we’ll make our own decision.”

Political observers agree that debate over a non-discrimination ordinance would be contentious, however, most think that with the mayor’s leadership, a proposed ordinance would likely succeed.

A spokesperson for Parker, who is up for reelection to a third and final term in office, indicated that any push for a non-discrimination ordinance would not be expected until after the November elections.

In addition to San Antonio, similar measures have already been passed in Dallas, Fort Worth, and the state’s capital city of Austin.

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10 more reader comments:

  1. Something we should do. Something we SHOULD do. … omg how about something we needed to do yesterday! That’s incredible.. taking a nonchalant attitude to this is what’s keeping it so slow to change. I guess I should be grateful they are willing to change at all.

    Posted on Friday, September 20, 2013 at 6:15pm
  2. While we in Houston tend to tout that we have a lesbian mayor (whom I support), she does tend to appease to the masses by not speaking out much on LGBT rights, especially the lack of here in homophobic Texas. If she were to be more vocal as some other gay and lesbian elected officials are, I couldn’t help but think this city would eat her alive.

    Posted on Friday, September 20, 2013 at 6:50pm
  3. She’s too savvy to cut her own throat by pushing this as forcefully as some of us would like. If she’s not in office, she has less influence on changing attitudes and laws. Trust her.She’s working this situation just right with the constituency she has.

    Posted on Friday, September 20, 2013 at 7:08pm
  4. As a Christian Pat Robertson prefers to be able to discriminate against those he doesn’t like…

    Posted on Friday, September 20, 2013 at 9:17pm
  5. A non-discrimination ordinance is a good first step, but we need to just legalize same sex marriage for everyone.

    Posted on Friday, September 20, 2013 at 9:47pm
  6. Something you should have DONE!!!

    Posted on Saturday, September 21, 2013 at 12:54am
  7. Much to the public’s ignorance, this is actually PROGRESS down here in Texas.

    Kudos to her. So many others would rather stay ‘safe’ and not say a damn word.

    Posted on Saturday, September 21, 2013 at 1:47am
  8. I have to say I find a non-discrimination act to me little more than a token jesture when laws are on the books for the sole purpose of discriminating against the very people you claim to want to protect.

    Posted on Saturday, September 21, 2013 at 2:33am
  9. Finally!! Glad she’s stepped up about this. Hope to see a proposal soon.

    Posted on Saturday, September 21, 2013 at 3:10am
  10. Wait they already have one I thought.

    Posted on Sunday, September 22, 2013 at 1:27am