Houston Mayor Annise Parker Issued Sweeping Non-Discrimination Order This Week

Houston Mayor Annise Parker issued one of the most comprehensive non-dsicrimination orders in the nation this week, the Dallas Voice reports:

Parker  "Parker’s order replaces one signed by her predecessor, Bill White, the Democratic nominee for Texas governor. White’s order covered sexual orientation and was similar to protections for gay, lesbian and bisexual employees in Dallas.

'I felt it important that our written policy reflect what has long been the practice of the city, which is we do not discriminate,' Parker told Dallas Voice.

Parker’s order, which includes gender identity/expression, was signed on March 25 and took effect immediately.

'The purpose of this Executive Order is to prohibit discrimination and/or retaliation on the basis of sexual orientation and/or gender identity at every level of municipal government, including hiring, contracting and/or access to City facilities and programs/activities,' the order states."

A second order, issued the same day, prohibits racial, ethnic, gender and other slurs, the paper adds:

"The second order prohibits not only degrading verbal comments but also mentions electronic media including screen savers, posters, cartoons and drawings.

Menacing behavior, critical or mocking comments and perpetuating stereotypes are listed as behavior inappropriate for the workplace.

Employees violating the policy are subject to disciplinary action up to indefinite suspension. Supervisors or managers who do not act on allegations or evidence are subject to disciplinary action."