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."


  1. Smartypants says

    This is why election are important. Having met Annise and her lovely partner Kathy at several glbt conferences over the years, this is exactly what I’d expect from her — a strong, matter of fact statement of how it’s going to be under her watch.

    Fiscally conservative (she kept the city’s finances in good order as Controller/Chief Financial Officer) and socially progressive, I think she’d be a great candidate for Congress or Governor when she finishes her third term in 2016.

  2. HawaiiBill says

    @JAKEINLOVE: For the record, Houston is NOT a conservative city. It is surrounded by evangelicals, but the city itself is progressive and a pretty great place to live. Austin is also progressive and even Dallas has its moments. The rest of the Lone Star State is pretty “cracker-nuts”!

    That is not to take anything away from her courage. She is a breath of fresh air in a crazy state.

  3. Joe says

    Dallas has its moments? Honey, Dallas is one of the most progressive and liberal areas of Texas if not the most liberal. And Dallas is even moreso progressive than Houston. We have openly gay council members and our Chief of police is a latina lesbian. We along with Austin are the only two cities that have a NORML organization (national organization for reform of marijuana laws) and many other things that I could go into but I’ve gone on enough already. Anyway, the major metros of Texas are more progressive than what people give credit, dont’ get it twisted :-)

  4. HawaiiBill says

    @JOE: Love it…I stand corrected…even better. I had 10 excellent years in Dallas and came out there. The 80’s were not quite as friendly. Still remember rocks and bottles being thrown at us during the early Pride Parade years. Great to hear it Big D has “seen the light”!

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