Mayor Parker Plans Anti-Discrimination Policy For Houston Businesses

Houston Mayor Annise Parker plans to bring a proposal forward to city council regarding the treatment of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. The proposed policy would add protections against discrimination in the city of Houston.

In September, the San Antonio City Council passed an ordinance that added protection for sexual orientation and gender identity to its anti-discrimination policy.

Houston could soon have a similar policy.

Mayor Annise Parker already issued an executive order a few years ago, adding protections for transgender city employees.

Now, she plans to formalize the policy and extend its reach.

"I have an executive order on the treatment of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees. And I fully expect to take that to council to have it codified by ordinance, and I hope extended to the private sector."

Right now, Parker's executive order is limited only to the treatment of City of Houston employees.

But if approved by council, the ordinance could apply to local businesses. For example, the city could require all city contractors to comply with the anti-discrimination policy or face losing their contracts.

Additionally, the policy could also make it illegal for business owners to refuse service to a person based on sexual orientation or gender identity.  

Bio photo of Laurie Johnson

Laurie Johnson

Local Host, All Things Considered

Laurie Johnson is the Houston host for All Things Considered at KUHF NPR for Houston. Before taking the anchor chair, she worked as a general assignments reporter at KUHF, starting there as an intern in 2002...