The public speaks out on Houston's equal rights ordinance - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

The public speaks out on Houston's equal rights ordinance

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HOUSTON (FOX 26) - Two mothers, two views, one passion.

She stood out. A woman in a pink dress, a mom, standing with her son behind a crowd of reporters gathered at Houston city hall.

"He is gay and I am proud and I am supporting the HERO ordnance," said Judy Lindsey of South Carolina.

The ordinance has several nicknames, but is official titled as Houston's equal rights ordinance.

Lindsey joined thousands of people who are very vocal about their support or their opposition to the proposed ordinance, which extends already established anti discrimination protections to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.  

On the eve before a scheduled city council vote on the measure, Mayor Annise Parker announced a last-minute change to the draft, hoping to appease critics concerned over transgender people using restrooms.

"Tomorrow, there will be a motion to remove the specific section (regarding) transgender access to bathrooms," Parker said.

The change didn't do much to ease the concerns of religious leaders and their church members.  Jonathan Saenz is an attorney and the president of Texas Values Actions. He warned of a possible loophole.

"There is a section that deals with public accommodations that applies to bathrooms," Saenz said. "Just because the mayor tried to make some 11th hour change changes nothing in this ordinance because it doesn't specifically say it won't apply to the bathroom. And because of that, it will apply without question."

Politicians, business leaders, and pastors have been vocal, but as the vote draws near, regular moms and dads, moms like Judy Lindsey are also making their voices heard.

"The enthusiasm and energy is what impresses me the most," she said. "That people will come out and get involved."

Becky Riggle is also a mom, with a different view on the ordinance. She voiced her displeasure with elected officials who have publicly stated their support.

"How could any of you have been in favor of an ordinance that would put me, my daughters, and my granddaughters at risk," she said.

They may be on opposite sides, but both Lindsey and Riggle share a common passion- their children.

"I invited her for a fun weekend for Mother's Day," Ryan Lindsey said. "And it means so much to me to have her by my side, supporting a cause that's dear to me."
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