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Houston Unites Launches Campaign to Support Equal Rights Ordinance
Posted on August 12, 2015 at 10:11 am



Anna Núñez,, 713-325-7010
Kevin Nix,, 202-431-5796

HOUSTON – Today, a coalition of concerned citizens and civil rights groups gathered in support of the Houston Unites campaign launch focused on preventing the repeal of Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) on the November ballot. In spite of its position as the most diverse city in the country, Houston is also the only city of its size in the country lacking an equal rights ordinance. HERO’s anti-discrimination protections extend to fifteen separate categories — including race, gender, gender identity, veteran status, disability, age, and sexual orientation — and would provide Houstonians with a local recourse to discrimination complaints that is timely, effective and affordable.

Members of the Houston Unites coalition voiced their support for the ordinance, and urged Houston voters to educate themselves on the protections for all citizens:

Dr. James M. Douglas, President NAACP Houston Branch: “The NAACP has and will always be focused on the elimination of discrimination against all people. As an organization, we have always been and will continue to be inclusive, not exclusive. HERO is not just about black, brown or red. HERO is also not just about male and female. Instead, HERO is about every one of us. Hopefully, we can continue to grow as a city by recognizing that we are all members of the human race and that the only way we can achieve our goal of becoming a great city is by accepting the rights of all of us to equally participate in this society we call Houston, Texas.”

Bobby Singh, Principal, Isani Consultants, L.P.: “If we fail to protect HERO in November, we’re sending a clear message to the rest of the country that we aren’t a business-friendly destination. That depending on who you are, we might not want to do business with you. And that’s wrong. Every person in our city deserves the chance to be successful, and to live and work without fear of discrimination.”

Leslie Jackson, Minister at Cathedral of Hope Houston: “I know the stories of those who have faced discrimination because of who they are or whom they love. They are our neighbors, our coworkers, our friends and family members. I believe Jesus calls me and all Christians to treat them with dignity and respect and to oppose, with determination, the discrimination they have faced.”

Ann Elder, Mother and Concerned Citizen: ““HERO is important to me because it will ensure my son, whom I am so proud of and love dearly, can grow up safe and sound. I know my boy has a bright future and so much to offer. HERO is about ensuring he and all children can reach their full potential.”

Sonia Corrales, Chief Program Officer, Houston Area Women’s Center: “As the Chief Program Officer of the Houston Area Women’s Center, the safety of women and children is my first priority. I’ve worked my entire career to protect women and to support those who have experienced violence. Sexual assault is a terrible crime that affects people in every community. It’s real; it’s scary; and it has absolutely nothing to do with our city’s equal rights ordinance.”

Rabbi Walter, Congregation Emanu El: “We are all God’s children, regardless of our religious beliefs, our race or ethnicity, our sex or age, our sexual orientation or gender identity. No one has a monopoly on God’s love. And we all have the right to live our lives free from discrimination.”

ACLU of Texas is a guardian of liberty, working daily in courts, the Legislature and Texas communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to all in the Bill of Rights of our Constitution.

Equality Texas works to secure full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Texans through political action, education, community organizing, and collaboration.

Freedom For All Americans is a campaign initiative dedicated to ensuring that every American, regardless of where they live, is protected under the law from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity and expression – without allowing overly broad and harmful religious exemptions that will encourage employers, business owners or others to choose to disregard those protections.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. HRC envisions a world where LGBT people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.

The Texas Freedom Network is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization of religious and community leaders who support religious freedom, individual liberties and public schools.

Texas Wins is a statewide coalition of Texans, including people of faith, business leaders, veterans and first responders, athletes and sports professionals, students, educators and school administrators and everyday Texans, who are committed to demonstrating true Texas values and protecting all Texans from discrimination.