Houston council approves gay rights ordinance

Published on Wednesday, 28 May 2014 20:23 - Written by JUAN A. LOZANO, Associated Press

HOUSTON (AP) — Houston leaders have approved an ordinance expanding anti-bias protections for gay and transgender residents.

The Houston City Council voted 11-6 in favor of the ordinance Wednesday after listening to more than 200 people discuss the measure. Most spoke in favor of it during a public hearing that lasted more than seven hours.

City Council chambers, as well as an overflow room, were packed for the hearing.

Supporters of the ordinance, including Mayor Annise Parker, who is gay, say it's about offering protections at the local level against all forms of discrimination.

Those against the ordinance say it would infringe on their religious liberties.

The proposal will consolidate city bans on discrimination based on sex, race, age and religion, and increase protections for gay and transgender residents.

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