HERO and Jim Crow

In 2014, Houston City Council passed the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO), which prohibited discrimination on the basis of fifteen “protected characteristics,” such as military status, age, gender identity, and race. But less than one hundred years ago, a different set of ordinances forced Houstonians to discriminate.

Through the first half of the twentieth century, […]

Massage Parlor Blues

In their endless quest to rid Houston of things that they don’t like, city officials have been cracking down on massage parlors and spas. In the past year, at least thirteen of these havens for naughty deeds have been closed by the city.

Last year, City Council strengthened Chapter 125, the section of the city […]

Bigots, Homophobes, and HERO

In May 2014, the Houston City Council passed the controversial Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO). The ordinance made it “unlawful for any place of public accommodation or any employee or agent thereof to discriminate against any person on the basis of any protected characteristic,” such as sexual orientation or gender identification. Though voters overturned the […]