When San Antonio passed its nondiscrimination ordinance, Houston became the only major city in Texas without such protections for its LGBT community.
In a press conference Wednesday, Mayor Annise Parker said it was time for the Bayou City to follow suit.
“It is something we should do,” she said. “And the majority of council members have publicly stated they are in support of a nondiscrimination ordinance. This is an issue that requires all of the council to be engaged and agree it’s time to move it forward.”
However, in Houston, the council is unable to pass an ordinance without a voter approval. Because of a charter amendment, an ordinance similar to the ones in Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin or the one recently passed in San Antonio would have to face a voter referendum.
“We watched what happened in San Antonio and we’ll certainly talk to them about the process and then we’ll make our own decision,” Parker said.
But the process in Houston would be quite a bit different than in the other Texas cities where ordinances passed without going to voters for charter amendments.
Parker is up for re-election for a third and final term as mayor. Jessica Michan, a spokeswoman in the mayor’s office, said she did not expect any action on an ordinance until after the election.