HOUSTON, Texas — Houston Mayor Annise Parker on Monday announced details of a proposed human rights ordinance that would prohibit discrimination in the workplace, housing and public accommodations.
The measure would ban discrimination based on sex, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, family status, marital status, military status, religion, disability, pregnancy and genetic information, as federal laws do.
Parker’s proposal also would cover sexual orientation and gender identity. In addition to private businesses, the ordinance would apply to housing, city employment and city contracting.
Violators could be fined up to $5,000.
Religious institutions would be exempt; businesses with fewer than 50 workers would be exempt from the employment provisions.
The City Council is expected to vote on the measure the first week of May.
Critics of the proposed ordinance say Parker, who is openly gay, is simply trying to establish protections for the LGBT community.