White House Issues Statement About Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance

Washington, DC – White House spokesperson Jeff Tiller today issued a statement supporting the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance. Tiller said:

“While the Administration generally does not take a formal position on specific proposals or initiatives, the President and Vice President have been strong supporters of state and local efforts to protect Americans from being discriminated against based on who they are and who they love. We’re confident that the citizens of Houston will vote in the favor of fairness and equality.”

Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance protects Houstonians from discrimination in housing, employment and public spaces across 15 classes, including race, gender, military status, sexual orientation, gender identity, and pregnancy. Houston is the largest city in America that does not have these protections already in place.

The majority of discrimination claims (56%) filed with the city of Houston over the last year have been based on race, with 17% based on gender and pregnancy.

The statement comes following a number of women business leaders this week urging Houstonians to vote Yes on Proposition 1, including Dr. Laura Murillo, president and CEO of the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. In an ad released by Houston Unites, she says, “When you step back, at the end of the day, Proposition 1 is about discrimination.”

Texas State Senator Sylvia Garcia said, “Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance is about one thing and one thing only: fighting discrimination. I urge all Houstonians and especially women of all walks of life to vote Yes on Proposition 1.”

Most recently, the Gaslamp in Midtown discriminated against two Latinas who were charged cover because of the way they looked.