Council Briefing: Charter Amendments

After talking with residents, my colleagues, and members of the gay and lesbian community over the past couple of weeks, I decided not to propose that we change our City Charter to protect city employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Our Charter currently only protects city employees from discrimination based on race, sex, political affiliation, and religion. A couple of weeks ago, I proposed to my colleagues that we consider adding sexual orientation to this list. By and large, the response I got from the other councilmembers was very positive.

However, like most things in life, timing is everything. Also on the November ballot will be the proposed State of Texas constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. Members of the GLBT community were concerned that folks who would come out to vote against gay marriage would also vote against the non-discrimination Charter language. If the proposed non-discrimination Charter amendment failed here in Dallas, it would be a blow to the GLBT community and might have legal ramifications for the non-discrimination ordinance already in place. So I tabled the matter for an upcoming Charter amendment.

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