On an 11-6 vote May 28 by its city council, Houston became the latest U.S. city to pass an ordinance giving special rights to homosexuals and “transgendered” individuals — those who dress, act, and “identify” as the opposite sex. The announced goal of the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, forced on the city by its openly homosexual mayor Annise Parker, is to protect residents and others from discrimination in public accommodations, employment, and housing on the basis of race, religion, ethnicity, gender, age, and disability — all elements present in existing state and federal law.
However, Parker's specific reason for pushing the ordinance was to saddle the city with a prohibition on discrimination against homosexuals and “transgendered” individuals, a measure opponents warn will open business owners and individuals to fines and criminal prosecution if they refuse to serve homosexuals because of their religious and moral convictions.
David Walls of the pro-family group Texas Values warned before its passage that the ordinance was designed to “specifically impose 'sexual orientation' and 'gender identity' as protected classes onto the private sector of Houston, while centralizing the power of investigation, fines [of up to $500 a day], and punishment under the mayor.” Walls warned that the proposed measure, much like one in San Antonio dubbed the “anti-Christian ordinance,” would represent a “direct threat to any person in Houston who holds a biblical or traditional view of marriage or sexuality, whether in government or in business.”
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