Houston LGBT Ordinance Gets Stopped, For Now
Houston, TX, May 7, 2014 – Today, after numerous Houston council members expressed serious concerns and proposed numerous amendments to Mayor Annise Parker’s proposed wide-reaching LGBT ordinance, the Houston City Council delayed the vote on the divisive ordinance by one week. Concerns have been raised for weeks about the impact the ordinance would potentially have on religious organizations and churches and the wide-reaching impact on private business owners. Mayor Parker’s original plan was to fast track the ordinance into law with a final vote coming today.
The ordinance would give government new power to force private individuals and businesses to affirm homosexual conduct and actual or perceived “gender identity” or face serious criminal penalties, up to $500 a day. The ordinance would also allow men access to women’s bathrooms and locker rooms and some provisions may also be enforced against churches, a provision that has received heavy support by numerous transsexuals that testified in favor of the ordinance. The proposed ordinance is a direct threat to public safety, people of faith, and the private sector of Houston.
A public hearing last week on the ordinance was dominated by local African American church leaders who spoke against the ordinance and said they were offended that the Civil Rights Movement was being compared to political goals and lifestyle desires of homosexuals. In just one week, over 30,000 email messages opposing the ordinance have been sent to Houston City Council members.
In response to the delay, Texas Values Action president and attorney Jonathan Saenz released the following statement:
“Today’s decision to delay the vote is a rejection of Mayor’s Parker attempt to ram this dangerous and unnecessary ordinance through without proper scrutiny. The opposition to this proposal continues to grow and this delay will give the Council time to recognize this anti-religious freedom proposal does not deserve their support. The people of Houston should reject this attempt to use executive power to force private citizens to violate their religious beliefs and put themselves and their children at risk. It’s time for the Council to table this proposal for good.”
Texas Values Action president Jonathan Saenz testified against the ordinance at the hearing last week and will be in Houston today and available to comment on the proposed ordinance.
About Texas Values Action
Texas Values Action is the new advocacy arm of Texas Values, a non-profit organization dedicated to standing for faith, family, and freedom in Texas. More information is available at txvaluesaction.org.