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Dallas Strengthens LGBT Protections

Dallas Strengthens LGBT Protections


It wasn't all bad news for LGBT Texans Tuesday night -- residents of Dallas will now be protected by a more robust nondiscrimination ordinance.

Amid an avalanche of Republican victories throughout the country Tuesday night -- and several in Texas -- it's easy to feel disheartened about the prospects for LGBT equality over the next two years. But one city in Texas actually took a step forward in protecting its LGBT citizens Tuesday night.

Voters in Dallas overwhelmingly approved a proposition to update the city's nondiscrimination ordinance, making it more explicitly inclusive of sexual orientation and gender identity, reports LGBT outlet the Dallas Voice.

The proposition, which passed with more than 75 percent of the vote, updates language that is more than a decade old to enumerate sexual orientation and gender identity as protected characteristics, the Voice reports. Although the existing version of the ordinance mentioned those traits, the new wording "will be clearer and more inclusive," according to the Voice.

The passage of strengthened LGBT protections in Dallas stands in start contrast to Houston mayor Annise Parker's efforts on behalf of a similar ordinance in Houston, which have seen anti-LGBT religious leaders trot out antigay and transphobic scare tactics, launch a (failed) repeal effort, then eventually file a lawsuit against the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, which has effectively stalled its implementation even though the City Council passed it in May. Mayor Parker, an out lesbian, issued subpoenas to five Houston pastors in that case to testify about their involvement, but the backlash was so swift and vociferous that Parker eventually withdrew those requests for information from religious leaders meddling in politics.

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