Last Wednesday, Houston passed the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO), making it illegal for businesses and private citizens to discriminate against LGBT people. Houston’s City Council had a vote 11-6 in favour of passing the ordinance. Those members of the council that were against the ordinance said they either must represent their constituents, or they were not involved in the drafting of the ordinance.
As the fourth largest city in the United States, Houston passing this ordinance into law is a massive step forward in the continuing fight towards real and sustainable equality. Houston’s Mayor, Annise Parker, he has been working on the Ordinance since being elected in 2010. Parker herself is openly gay and speaking on the subject she has said, “I want this ordinance to be my legacy.” Mrs. Parker heard testimony from over 200 speakers, of which only 20 were against the ordinance.
Houston has been a leader in gay rights, and hosts the second largest pride parade in the United States with approximately 1.2 million people present. The passing of the HERO reflects the support the Houstonian population has for LGBT people.