Houston Mayor Annise Parker has updated a 12-year-old Houston non-discrimination policy to include transgendered individuals, a step that has won praise from supporters in the gay community but prompted criticism as well.
The two executive orders she signed last week prohibit city employees from harassment or discrimination in hiring, promotion and contracting based on gender identity, adding to existing prohibitions based on race, creed, color, sex, national origin, age and disability.
Some day, maybe during my children’s lifetime, society will look back and wonder why we ever had to take specific actions like this to ensure that all people were treated like people, and why it was considered controversial when those actions were taken. I hope so, anyway.
Dave Wilson, an anti-gay activist who campaigned against Parker in last year’s mayor’s race because of the fact that she is openly gay, said he fears the executive orders may be “only the beginning” of city efforts to strengthen gay rights under Parker’s leadership.
“I’m sad this is happening to our city,” said Wilson, who years ago led a successful effort to amend the city charter to deny benefits to the partners of gay and lesbian city employees.
Then move. I’ll help you pack. That would do at least as much to make this city a better place than anything else Mayor Parker could do.