Business is the new LGBT rights advocate

Businesses form coalition to support Houston's equal rights ordinance 

Houston was the first big city in America to elect an openly gay mayor and the Houston city council passed a historic equal rights ordinance this year that protects LGBT people from employment and public accommodation discrimination.

But the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) is now under attack with a likely ballot initiative that asks voters to take away these protections.  Out & Equal Workplace Advocates and its Houston affiliate are inviting businesses to support the equal rights ordinance through the Houston Business Coalition for Equality.

"Local businesses are stepping up to support the equal rights ordinance because equality is good for business," said Gemma Burns, chair of Out & Equal Houston. "Houston is a welcoming and energetic city that thrives on its diversity. Equality-minded businesses want to send a message that Houston does not discriminate. We want Houston to be a place where everyone can work hard, provide for our families and give our children the opportunity for a better life."

"The struggle for workplace equality in Houston is a test case for many U.S. cities big and small where LGBT people are becoming more accepted in the popular culture, yet continue to lack basic legal protections," said Thom Lynch, spokesperson for Out & Equal Workplace Advocates. "In the LGBT rights movement, workplace equality is becoming the new same-sex marriage and companies that want to compete with the best talent pool are becoming the new LGBT rights advocates."

Bob Harvey, President and CEO of The Greater Houston Partnership said in a Houston Chronicle editorial: "We support this ordinance because it's good for business and great for Houston."

To learn more and sign up:
Contact:  Mike Craig at or (832) 740-4365