FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 6, 2015

 

Contact: Lauren Laake (832) 393-3008

lauren.laake@houstontx.gov    

 

 

Council Member Martin votes to repeal the Equal Rights Ordinance

 

Houston, TX - As a result of the July 24, 2015 Texas Supreme Court ruling, Houston City Council voted yesterday to send the controversial Equal Rights Ordinance to the November ballot with Council Members Dave Martin, C.O. Bradford, Michael Kubosh, and Oliver Pennington, voting "no". Council Member Martin voted "yes" to repeal the ordinance.

 

Council Member Martin articulately stated during yesterday's City Council meeting that the ballot language in the ordinance violates City Charter and believes it is a deliberate attempt to confuse and mislead voters. The City Charter explicitly states in Article VII-b, Section 5 that the language must be in the affirmative, where a "yes" vote implements the ordinance and a "no" vote opposes it. As it stands now the ballot language will read:

 

Shall the City of Houston repeal the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, Ord. No. 2014-530, which prohibits discrimination in city employment and city services, city contracts, public accommodations, private employment, and housing based on an individual's sex, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, familial status, marital status, military status, religion, disability, sexual orientation, genetic information, gender identity or pregnancy?

 

Substitute ballot language was offered at the council table, but ultimately failed with a 12-5 vote.

 

While Council Member Martin believes discrimination should not be accepted on any level, he steadfastly believes that the decision to implement the ordinance should be left up to the voters to decide and is disappointed with the counter intuitive language that will be used.

 

For more information, please contact the District E office at (832) 393-3008 or districte@houstontx.gov.


 

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