Houston council passes equal rights ordinance

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Houston Mayor Annise Parker. - PHOTO: Wikipedia

The Houston City Council on May 28 voted 11-6 to pass the Equal Rights Ordinance championed by openly lesbian Mayor Annise Parker.

Parker offered the measure, which was amended by Houston Councilmember Davis to include protections to transgender people.

The ordinance protect all Houstonians from discrimination in the workplace, housing and public accommodations.

Workers in both the public and private sectors will be protected from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, as well as on the basis of sex, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, familial status, marital status, military status, religion, disability, genetic information, and pregnancy. 

Marty Rouse, national field director for the Human Rights Campaign, said, "Under Mayor Parker’s leadership, this commonsense legislation will make life a little easier and fairer for thousands of Houstonians. It is far past time to protect the citizens of Houston from all forms of discrimination, including discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity."

The ordinance takes effects in a month.

About 200 people addressed the issue during the council meeting, most of them in favor of the ordinance.