Houston Mayor Annise Parker Responds To Texas Supreme Court Ruling On Equal Rights Ordinance

Houston Mayor Annise Parker issued this statement via press release regarding the Texas state Supreme Court’s ruling that Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance must be repealed or put to a vote this November:

“Obviously, I am disappointed and believe the court is in error with this eleventh hour ruling in a case that had already been decided by a judge and jury of citizens.

“Nonetheless, we will proceed with the steps necessary for City Council to consider the issue. At the same time, we are consulting with our outside counsel on any possible available legal actions.

“Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance is similar to measures passed by every other major city in the country and by most local corporations. No matter the color of your skin, your age, gender, physical limitations, or sexual orientation, every Houstonian deserves the right to be treated equally. To do otherwise, hurts Houston’s well-known image as a city that is tolerant, accepting, inclusive and embracing of its diversity.

“Our citizens fully support and understand this and I have never been afraid to take it to the voters. We will win!”

Houston passes LGBT protections ordinance by vote of 11-6

After more than 200 speakers testified today, the Houston City Council, led by openly gay Mayor Annise Parker, passed a sweeping LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinance.

The vote was 11-6.

The ordinance protects Houston citizens on the basis of “sex, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, familial
status, marital status, military status, religion, disability, sexual
orientation, genetic information, gender identity, or pregnancy.”

Houston, with over 2.1 million residents, is the fourth largest city in America.  Until today, Houston was the only major US city without a nondiscrimination ordinance.

Congratulations Houston!

Houston: Mayor Annise Parker introduces Equal Rights Ordinance

Today Houston Mayor Annise Parker introduced the Equal Rights Ordinance, which if passed, will protect all Houstonians from discrimination in the workplace, housing, and public accommodations.

The proposed ordinance covers both public and private workers from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

HRC National Field Director Marty Rouse released the following statement thanking Mayor Parker for her leadership on this legislation:

“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. As the nation’s fourth largest city, Houston is an epicenter for business and culture. Cities thrive when all citizens feel welcome and part of the cultural fabric. Today, Mayor Parker told every Houstonian that they are a valued part of the city’s future.”

(via Human Rights Campaign)

Houston Mayor Annise Parker over criticism that she married long-time partner: “Get over it”

Houston Mayor Annise Parker recently took four days off to marry her longtime partner Kathy Hubbard in Palm Springs.

Typically, Texas Republicans went on the attack saying her marriage was politically motivated, KHOU reports.

GOP State Senator Dan Patrick, currently running in a tough primary for Lt. Governor, said this of Mayor Parker’s nuptials:

“I am not shocked that Mayor Parker decided to elope to California for a marriage that is unconstitutional in Texas. This is obviously part of a larger strategy of hers to turn Texas into California.”

Parker responded to the criticism: “Dan Patrick’s running a political campaign. And he wants to make the gay community a whipping boy in that political campaign. And he thought I was an appropriate target. He doesn’t know what he’s talking about. And I don’t think that’s unusual….

Critics questioned the timing of her wedding, observing it occurred only weeks after being sworn into office for her final term. Mayor Parker pointed out that the couple married on what they have always considered their anniversary – January 16th – the date when they privately committed themselves to each other.

Says Parker, “You don’t commit 23 years of your life to someone to make a political statement…I took four days off. I had to leave my home state and make a little wedge of time to marry the woman I love. They can get over it.”