Houston Fails to Affirm Non-Discrimination Ordinance

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Allison Steinberg, 212-549-2540, asteinberg@aclu.org 

Tom Hargis, ACLU of Texas, media@aclutx.org, (c) 773.484.7871

Houston Fails to Affirm Non-Discrimination Ordinance

NEW YORK - Houston voters last night failed to affirm an ordinance that would have secured much-needed protections from discrimination for the people of the fourth largest city in the country.

The measure, Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO), which appeared on the ballot on Election Day, fell short of a majority vote. The ordinance would have prohibited discrimination in places of employment, city contracting, housing, public accommodations and private employment at businesses 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, and pregnancy.

The below quote can be attributed to American Civil Liberties Union American Civil Liberties Union National Political Director Karin Johanson:

“The work in Houston must continue until everyone is protected from discrimination. Houston continues to be the only major American city without a law protecting its residents from discrimination. As a result, the only protection Houstonians have is a costly federal lawsuit. In the case of LGBT Houstonians there are no explicit protections at the federal or state level. A strong local coalition will continue to work to end discrimination against all Houstonians and the ACLU will support them.”

The below quote can be attributed to ACLU of Texas Executive Director Terri Burke:

“It’s a tragedy that Houston remains the only major city in Texas—indeed, the last big city in the United States—that does not extend equal rights protections to all of its residents and visitors. Those of us who have worked to bring equality to Houston will continue the fight to ensure that everyone can live fairly and equally under the law. The next mayor and newly elected members of Houston’s city council must prioritize the passage of a new equal rights ordinance as quickly as possible.”

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The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) conserves America's original civic values working in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in the United States by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

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