A majority YES vote on Proposition 1 will uphold Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance and ensure all Houstonians remain protected from discrimination. A majority NO vote will strip Houston of local non-discrimination protections and leave people in 15 protected classes vulnerable to unfair treatment in employment, housing and public spaces.
Latest polls show that the race to protect our city’s equal rights ordinance is in a dead heat. Opponents of the ordinance are more likely to vote early and by mail, according to voting trends. The fate of Proposition 1 is entirely dependent on how many HERO supporters go to the polls and vote on Tuesday.
A September report showed that a majority 56% of local discrimination claims over a period of 16 months were race-based. The second most frequently reported cases of discrimination were on the basis of gender.
In the absence of local tool like HERO for dealing with discrimination, the only alternative form of recourse is to file an expensive and time-consuming federal case. Already, three African American male attorneys (pictured above) have had to pursue a federal case to address an experience of race-based discrimination at popular Houston nightclub, the Gaslamp.
The same club is under scrutiny for claims of racial and gender-based discrimination against a group of Latina women.
A majority of fair-minded Houstonians support laws that ensure everyone is treated fairly and equally. But discrimination still happens every day. Houston needs an equal rights ordinance to ensure that people are protected when they become the target of unfair treatment.