HOUSTON (KTRK) --Houston City Council members have passed the Equal Rights Ordinance, an ordinances that expands anti-bias protections that would prohibit discrimination of any kind, including gender identity, in Houston.
Council members voted 11-6 to turn the proposed non-discrimination ordinance into law after more than 200 Houstonians stood before City Council to express their feelings about it.
Among the hundreds in the audience were Debie and Catherine Logan, who say the passage of the non-discrimination ordinance means the world to their family.
"So our grand children grow up knowing that we are just as important and just as equal, and all the things that we taught them," Debie Logan said.
The ordinance prohibits discrimination of any kind in the city-including sexual orientation and gender identity. That made it so controversial that a number of protesters, led by some local pastors, strongly voiced their opposition.
"This is what the city has turned into. This is not equal rights, this is unequal rights," said Pastor Willie Davis with the MacGregor Palm Community Baptist Church.
But for Mayor Annise Parker, the first openly gay mayor of a major American city, this is one victory she will savor.
"This is not the most important thing I have done or will do as mayor, but it is the most personally satisfying, the most personally meaningful thing that I will do as mayor," she said.
Some opponents have threatened a recall campaign against Mayor Parker and council members if the ordinance passes. Pastors stopped short of that, only saying they wanted the proposal to be put up for a vote by Houstonians.