We’re glad to see Mayor Annise Parker finally stand up and propose a human rights commission that will provide local due process for victims of public discrimination. Parker told the Chronicle editorial board that she plans to release a formal version of her proposal within the next few weeks, but sometimes the process is just as important as the result.
As the energy capital of the world, Houston is an international destination for business leaders from around the globe. Whether in the free market or our free people, Houston has many lessons to offer our international guests.
One of those lessons is how civil rights and nondiscrimination work in a pluralistic society.
It is a lesson that the world is forgetting. Places like Russia have begun to move backward, with Vladimir Putin trying to unite his power base around a hatred of gays, lesbians and other minorities. As the New York Times published last Sunday, that political wedge issue is becoming a formal state policy in a culture that urges “a rejection of the principles of multiculturalism and tolerance” in favor of Russia’s “unique state-government civilization.”
We shouldn’t be afraid to show that democratic debate can be messy. What we should fear, however, is failing to stand up for the ideals of our diverse city.