Statement on Texas Supreme Court’s Suspension of Houston Equal Rights Ordinance

Affiliate: ACLU of Texas
July 24, 2015 4:00 pm

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HOUSTON — Today, the Texas Supreme Court suspended the enforcement of the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) and ordered the Houston City Council to repeal the ordinance or place it up for a vote in the November city elections.

The following is a joint statement from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Texas, Equality Texas, Texas Freedom Network, Texas Wins, Freedom for All Americans, Human Rights Campaign and Lambda Legal:

“HERO embodies Houston values, and we are confident that the voters will uphold it should it end up on the ballot this fall. The fact that enforcement of the ordinance has been suspended, despite it being passed by the City Council, places at risk Houstonians who deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. HERO currently protects 15 different classes, including sex, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, familial status, marital status, military status, religion, disability, sexual orientation, genetic information, gender identity and pregnancy — in employment, housing and public accommodations.

“Houston cannot afford to be the one of the largest, most culturally diverse and business-friendly cities in the nation without comprehensive anti-discrimination protections. Discrimination is bad for business. But we believe Houston voters will agree that everyone who lives in and visits this great city has the right to be free from discriminatory and unequal treatment.”

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