Houston approves LGBT ordinance
HOUSTON, Texas — City leaders approved a new, expanded anti-discrimination ordinance on May 28, including sexual orientation and gender identity in a law that protects against public discrimination in housing, employment and services.
Critics of the measure said it would infringe upon religious leaders, but proponents — including openly lesbian Houston Mayor Annise Parker — argued such protections were needed to protect the rights of those who face unjust treatment.
The measure was passed 11-6 after a more than seven-hour long public hearing. Parker said passing the ordinance was the “most personally meaningful thing I will do as mayor.”
Kentucky city passes ordinance
DANVILLE, Ken. — The city commission in this Kentucky town has advanced an ordinance that would make it illegal to discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity in cases of employment, housing or public accommodations. The measure was approved by a vote of 3-2 on its first reading Tuesday after altering the proposed ordinance to exempt religious groups.
Restaurant: ‘We don’t serve fags’
PITTSBURG, Texas — A restaurant in Texas is coming under fire for refusing to offer any future service to a gay couple they say were “touching legs.”
The owner of Big Earl’s, Earl Cheney, said his business’ rules are plain. A sign on the door reads, “Welcome to Big Earl’s where men act like men, women act like ladies, no saggy pants and we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.”
Census will recognize families
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Census Bureau will begin recognizing married, same-sex couples as families in its 2013 American Community Survey report, due out in September. The report marks the first time the census plans to integrate an estimated 180,000 married, same-sex couples with statistics concerning the nation’s 56 million families, according to The Washington Post.
South Africa appoints gay official
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — South African President Jacob Zuma has appointed the country’s first openly gay, black Member of Parliament (MP). Zakhele Mbhele, 29, was sworn in on May 22 as part of South Africa’s fifth democratic Parliament, and is thought to be the first gay black MP on the African continent, reports Mamba Online.