Texas Supreme Court Rules Houston anti-discrimination law must be repealed or put to a vote.

In Texas it is legal for an employer to discriminate against and employee because he or she is gay. Unlike many states Texas does not protect individuals from discrimination based upon their affinity. Theoretically a Texas employer could fire an employee simply because he or she is gay. Most Texans of course are good people who, while they might not agree with someone else’s lifestyle, would not want to discriminate against the person because of their lifestyle. Most Texans agree that when it comes to your job, it is your ability to perform your job that matter, not your race, color, religion, national origin, disability or affinity (if you are gay or not). Well, that is true of most Texans, but no the members of the Texas Supreme Court who recently ruled that Houston’s ordinance which made it illegal for Houston employers to discriminate against a gay person in employment (or housing). Some cities that actually care about employment fairness have passed such ordinances since the Texas legislature has failed to protect gay employees from bigoted employees. However, recently the Texas Supreme Court in highly criticized opinion held that Houston must recent this ordinance or put it to a vote. Under Houston Law if someone opposes a city ordinance then they can have a vote on the ordinance if they can gather enough signatures. This is a great check on city legislative authority. However, the signature on the petition must be legitimate and not forgeries. The city attorney found the signatures to be insufficient and a jury trial was held to let 12 honest Houstonians decide if the petition signatures were sufficient and legitimate. The jury found that the thousands of the signatures were not valid or were just plain forgeries. Case closed right? Nope, the Texas Supreme Court to the rescue to help support those who hate gay people and want to be able to keep them from working at an honest job. The Texas Supreme Court ruled that despite the fact that a judge and jury found the signatures to be forgeries or invalid Houston must withdraw the law or put it to a vote. I wonder what the Supreme Court would have said if Houston passed an ordinance that stated it was OK to discriminate against gay people and the petition was by those who wanted that law repealed. I think we all suspect the decison would have gone the other way. It is surprising that we don’t have an ordinance in El Paso, Texas protecting the rights of gay individuals in employment. In New Mexico it is illegal to discriminate against gay employees but alias Texas has not only failed to pass such legislation but the Texas Supreme Court is actively thwarting such laws when Cities try and do the right thing and protect all employees from discrimination, even when they are gay. I have no problem for people to have their own views but I do have a problem when they think their views allow them to have the right keep others from working.

Scroll to Top