All throughout the 2013 Mayoral election, Houston’s Progressive community has wondered where Mayoral candidate Ben Hall stands LGBT issues such as marriage and workplace discrimination. As Mayor and current incumbent Annise Parker has faced much scrutiny regarding these issues, Ben Hall has seemed to get a free pass, managing to artfully avoid all questions on the subject. But today on Houston Matters with host Craig Cohen, the answer finally escaped from his lips. He does not support any form of a comprehensive non-discrimination ordinance.
“We have a clear difference on these issues. The Mayor is supporting a similar ordinance (to San Antonio) where you’d have extension of rights in terms of anti-discrimination laws on the issues of sexuality… whatever the issue may be, I would not support such an ordinance…”
Now keep in mind that Mr. Hall is not only a lawyer, but the former City Attorney of Houston. He has an extensive background regarding cases of minority discrimination, and Civil Rights protections. He is not uneducated in these subjects in any way. But yet, he chooses to deliver an answer so simplistic that you’d think he has no background in law at all. He groups all LGBT rights and protections into one massive hub, and says just because he disagrees with one precedent set by Parker, he would oppose any and all legislation to protect the LGBT community. Few things shock me in this campaign, but Hall’s answer today was quite a surprise.
Here’s the full interview from Houston Matters. I’ll have more thoughts on this before Election Day…