Via Lone Star Q: a question is asked of the recent non-discrimination ordinance proposal floating around the corridors of City Hall. A few days ago, I noted that trusted sources had confided in me that seven Councilmembers, plus the Mayor, support a comprehensive ordinance that prohibits discrimination against LGBT people in not only public employment and public accommodations, but by private employment as well. Simply put, not only would a store no longer be allowed to deny service to a gay patron, it could similarly no longer fire a lesbian employee themselves. Lone Star Q picked up the story the next day, noting that “Horwitz’s list is accurate.”
That brings us to today. John Wright, the author of all the LSQ articles, now ponders why the number of Councilmembers supporting private employment decisions is not a slam duck majority. Specifically, he takes aim at four Councilmembers (C.O. Bradford, Jack Christie, Jerry Davis and Larry Green) who had represented to the GLBT Caucus their support for a comprehensive NDO (including private employment protections). As many will recall, in preparation for the 2013 Municipal elections, all of these men were endorsed by the GLBT Caucus, following conciliatory questionnaire replies.
Yesterday, Councilmember Bradford called me to clarify his position on the matter, a conversation Wright must have also had. In short, Bradford did not feel all that comfortable supporting a hypothetical measure. Given that he did not believe he could actually gloss over the draft ordinance until tomorrow, he refrained from taking a definitive stand. Bradford did add a few pro-LGBT sound bites such as “I support equality” and “I’m opposed to all forms of discrimination.”
I suppose the same could be said of Councilmembers Davis and Green, though I (or anyone else, for that matter) have been unable to get in touch with them.
Perhaps the most important point is that Councilmember Christie hails from the “no” column as opposed to the maybes, given Christie ostensibly supported the NDO proposal last year on the campaign trail. Christie continuously has been on the record as an opponent of gay marriage, and his opponents (full disclosure, that included my father) made a complete issue of that last year on the campaign trail. I’ll bite my tongue and refrain from making further snipes, but Christie should probably be the bigger issue here.
As many will recall, 52% of Houston voters endorsed bigotry way back in 2001 in a charter amendment rescinding progress in the gay rights movement through domestic partnerships. To say the past 13 years have been an eternity in the gay rights movement is a gross understatement, and I simply cannot fathom the possibility that fewer than 3% of the electorate have changed their minds on this very important issue. Remember, the City of Houston is a significantly more liberal locale than Harri County.
Once again, I fully and sincerely hope that all Councilmembers support this goodhearted, commonsense proposal. If they don’t, I do hope that the Caucus remembers next November. Going along to get along never works well, especially when public opinion is on your side. As I have said before, being afraid of a charter amendment is a totally uncalled for fear.