Today, faith leaders stood united in advance of Election Day to urge a Yes vote on Proposition 1 and to support Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO).
Leaders of the faith community have been long-time advocates of HERO, often citing universal love and the Golden Rule—to treat others as we want to be treated—as the values guiding their support of equal rights. Rev. Jenni Martin Fairbanks said:
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.
Discrimination in Houston has been the subject of heightened media attention since the city’s equal rights ordinance got put on the ballot. In the spotlight: A popular midtown bar, the Gaslamp, where Black and Latina patrons alike have reported race-based discrimination. The bar is currently being challenged in federal court after three African American attorneys filed a lawsuit seeking damages.
Since HERO passed in May, 2014, a majority of discrimination claims were race-based. For this reason, HERO has Rev. Gibbs support.
The high rate of racial and other cases of discrimination in Houston is why the equal rights ordinance is so important to the city, according to Rabbi Joshua Herman of Congregation Beth Israel: “[HERO] will ensure every Houstonian is protected from discrimination, regardless of their faith, race, age, gender and more.”
Rev. Ron Lister of The International Center for Spiritual and Social Activism added: “Discrimination has no place in Houston.”
At the end of the day, Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance is about treating people fairly and equally, and ensuring that Houston remains open and welcoming to all people. As 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. Watch the ad here: