Faith leaders urge voter support of Houston Equal Rights Ordinance

November 2, 2015

Anna Núñez | | 713-857-9160 cell | 713-325-7010 office

HOUSTON – This afternoon, faith leaders from around Houston united to voice their support of the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, and to encourage a “YES” vote on Proposition 1 ahead of tomorrow’s election.

“We are all God’s children, and as people of faith, we are called to treat everyone with love and respect. That’s why we are encouraging every Houstonian to vote ‘yes’ on Proposition 1 tomorrow,” Rev. Jenni Martin Fairbanks said.

Rabbi Joshua Herman of Congregation Beth Israel added:

“The Houston Equal Rights Ordinance will ensure every Houstonian is protected from discrimination, regardless of their faith, race, age, gender and more.”

Sadly, discrimination – especially discrimination based on race — is an all too common occurrence around the country, even in Houston. In fact, 56 percent of discrimination complaints in Houston between May 2014 and September 2015 were based on race. Recently, three black men were charged a fee to gain entry into Gaslamp, a night club in Houston, while white customers were allowed to enter free-of-charge.

“Discrimination has no place in Houston. It’s wrong, and we need to do everything we can to ensure that everyone is protected from discrimination in our great city,” Rev. Ron Lister of The International Center for Spiritual and Social Activism added.

Without local protections, Houstonians who experience discrimination in most cases literally have to make a costly federal case out of it to get the legal help they need.

Faith leaders have been leading the call for the Equal Rights Ordinance. In an editorial endorsing Proposition 1, world renowned pastor and author Rudy Rasmus, wrote:

“As a Christian, I am taught to love my neighbor as myself. When I search my heart, I believe we are all called to treat others with dignity and respect. Protecting others from discrimination is a way for me to live my faith and lead my congregation to be open and welcoming to all.”

Rasmus recorded a television ad with his wife, Pastor Juanita Rasmus and Rev. Brandon and Hillary Pete in support of Proposition 1. You can watch the ad here:

The clergy leaders reminded all Houstonians to vote by 7 p.m. on Tuesday, November 3, 2015.


Houston Unites is the campaign working to win a “YES” vote on Proposition 1, Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance, in November. The leading partners include: ACLU of Texas, Equality Texas, Freedom for All Americans, Human Rights Campaign, NAACP Houston Branch and Texas Freedom Network.