JP Pritchard

Houston City Council Delays Equal Rights Ordinance Vote

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Supporters stand during a portion of the Houston council meeting to discuss the proposed equal rights ordinance (Photo by Adela Uchida/NEWS 92 FM)

(HOUSTON) — There were some big developments Wednesday out of Houston City Council on the controversial Houston Equal Rights Ordinance — a delay and a clarification.

Council members voted 12 to 5 to delay the vote on the ordinance for two weeks — a decision that leaves both sides planning their next moves.

“I’m disappointed that I wasn’t able to walk out of city hall as an equal citizen, but I am confident that in two weeks I will be able to have that day,” supporter Cristan Williams said.

Transgender access to bathrooms remains in the proposed ordinance. Mayor Annise Parker promised a paragraph addressing transgender access to bathrooms would be dropped, but it appears to be covered in another paragraph.

That leaves social conservatives planning.

“In between then and now, we’re going to be engaging people on social media, we’re going to be engaging people here in Houston,” social conservative Jonathan Saenz of Texas Values said. “As more people find out about it, the opposition is going to continue to grow and the council is going to have a big fight on their hands.”

Supporters say the bathroom argument is raising non-existent issues.

“We don’t need to continue this narrative about bathrooms,” said Lou Weaver, who is a transgender man. “Equality is equality, no matter what it is.”

The final vote is scheduled for May 28.



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