Thursday, April 10, 2014

Houston's proposed NDO making a cool spring warm

Lone Star Q and Texpate and Texas Leftist are leading the reporting on this development, and I will cede future breakers to them.  But it's clear that while the vote won't come until May, April is going to be excessively warm for a handful of wishy-washy council members.

Reposting my last update...

CM Bradford called shortly after 9 a.m. (on 4/9) to say essentially the same thing he told Noah at Texpate and John Wright at LSQ; he is supportive but wants to see what the ordinance says (it is still being drafted by the mayor's office).  No callback yet from Larry Green -- my district council member, by the way -- nor Kubosh.

And from the TL link in the first graf...

Even with this cautious response from a staff member, sources close to Texas Leftist say that Council Member Kubosh would be likely to support a Non-Discrimination Ordinance that extends to private employment. Said source worked with Kubosh on this issue prior to his election to City Council, and have spoken with him recently as well. 

Finally there's Kuff, this morning.

It’s not inconsistent for a Council member to say they support the principle and the idea of the ordinance, but they want to see what it actually says before they can confirm they’ll vote for it.

Nonetheless, everyone listed above is on record saying they would “vote in favor of a non-discrimination ordinance, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity or expression in employment, housing, and public accommodation”, and they will be expected to do exactly that. If they want to make arguments about making it stronger, that’s fine. That list above is more than enough to pass the ordinance, so there should be no waffling, no fretting about vote counts, and especially no fear of a backlash. When the time comes, everyone needs to keep their promises. Now would be an excellent time to call your Council members and let them know you look forward to seeing their vote for this NDO.

A couple of things...

1. It may not be inconsistent, but it certainly is cagey.

2. I'm not a fan of the HGLBT Caucus constantly pushing their weight around, but they have a righteous beef in this case.  If a council member says one thing to them and then does something else -- like Jackass Christie, for example -- there should be a political cost extracted for prevaricating like that.

3. Mayor Parker remains publicly uncommitted to including private sector protections in the ordinance.  This is her established pattern, but she's in for her own little world of hurt if she is too cautious here.

4. The reason there is so much waffling on a human rights ordinance by so many of our local policy-makers is because the conservatives at city hall -- Republicans, Democrats, black and white -- are getting pressured by the pastors.

As referenced yesterday, the preachers are terrified that Houston might be the next place Hell's fire and brimstone erupts.  They are determined to push back against the Sodomites, and are busily exercising their First Amendment rights to those council members riding the fence... just as the voices of tolerance are.

I'm sure Dr. Steven Hotze will weigh in at any moment.  He's finally getting the national attention he so richly deserves.  (Remember: even Big Jolly calls him the "crazy uncle".   That first link just bowled me over, if you recall.)  This would be a jihad for he and his minions.

So, as Charles K suggests, now is the time for those who have an opinion on this matter to express it to your CMs.  And to keep doing that for the next month.  This includes making sure Mayor Parker writes the ordinance so that it includes private-sector employee, housing, and service-oriented business protections (such as prohibiting restaurants, etc. from refusing to serve homosexual customers on religious grounds, for example).

I feel the warm weather already.  Don't you?

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