Incident at The Gaslamp Explains Why Houston Needs an Equal Rights Ordinance

Three African-American attorneys claim The Gaslamp nightclub racially discriminated against them last Friday by charging them a $20 cover charge. White patrons, they claim, weren’t charged a cover fee. On Sunday, Brandon Ball, one of the attorneys, detailed the entire experience on a Facebook post.

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“The incident at the Gaslamp is a perfect example of why Houston needs an Equal Rights Ordinance,” said Richard Carlbom, campaign manager for Houston Unites. “The ordinance is a local tool to deal with discrimination that happens here locally – whether based on race, religion, disability, veteran status and more. At its core, the Equal Rights Ordinance is about treating everyone fairly and equally, whether in a public space like a bar, or in employment and housing.”

Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance ensures everyone in our city is treated fairly and equally under the law, no matter their race, religion, military status, sexual orientation or gender identity. In fact, when the law was on the books, 54% of complaints filed were on the basis of racial discrimination. Now, without a citywide equal rights ordinance, Houstonians who face discrimination are forced to literally make a federal case out of it to get legal help.

The equal rights ordinance is an important local tool to help everyone in our community when they are treated unfairly—without making them jump through the hoops of filing a federal lawsuit or bearing the burden of costly, drawn-out legal battle. On November 3rd, vote Yes on Proposition 1 to protect Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance.