- November 2, 2015
Tomorrow, residents of Houston will go to polls to vote on a variety of local issues and measures, including the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO).
HERO protects Houston residents and visitors from discrimination in housing, employment and business services on the basis of 15 different characteristics, including sex, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, familial status, marital status, military status, religion, disability, sexual orientation, genetic information, gender identity and pregnancy.
Houston is the most diverse city in the country and the fourth most populous U.S. city with 2.2 million residents. If HERO loses tomorrow, Houston will be the only city of its size in the country lacking an equal rights ordinance.
While HERO originally passed in 2014, the Houston City Council voted to place HERO on the election ballot in August. Their vote was a direct result of the Texas Supreme Court’s ruling earlier this year requiring the Council to either overturn the ordinance or send it to the ballot.
While HERO was in effect, 56 percent of the complaints filed were related to racial discrimination, with another 17 percent based on gender or pregnancy discrimination. Currently, 63 percent of Texans support non-discrimination protections.
While the anti-equality campaign has spread hateful messages, support for HERO has swelled across the nation. President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton have all voiced their support. Celebrities including Sally Field, Matt Bomer, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Jim Parsons and Eva Longoria have also spoken out. Several businesses and business leaders have rallied through the city and in the media to urge voters to vote yes on Proposition 1.
Because turnout in these elections is historically extremely low and opponents of equality will be highly mobilized, every vote will count.
HRC is a leading partner in the Houston Unites coalition that includes HRC, ACLU of Texas, Equality Texas and Texas Freedom Network. HRC has been on the ground for months supporting this vital campaign.
To find a polling location near you, check out the Houston Unites' Election Center.
If you are voting in Texas, whether on Election Day or voting early in person, you’ll need an unexpired government-issued photo identification.
|Pol. Adv. Human Rights Campaign|