Tuesday, October 14, 2014

HERO Updates,Notes and News-October 14

Photo: Dear haters, you should have let the HERO pass Wednesday.   You gave us two weeks to organize too...While we wait for the January 19 court date and trial to take place, the HERO is unfortunately not being implemented until the legal issues get sorted out.

In the interim, more evidence just keeps on surfacing in Houston why HERO is needed and why it was pushed for and passed in the first place.

Interesting news broke here recently about a gay male couple tossed out of a Yellow Cab last weekend because of a PDA the homophobic cab driver didn't approve of.

He should have had a clue because he picked up Travis Player and Andres Orozco in front of FBar, a gay club on Tuam Street.

As they shared a PG kiss on their way to their Museum District area home,  Orozco told ABC 13 "The man just turns back to us and tells us that he doesn't give gay people rides. And he proceeds to tell us we're going to hell for being gay."

The homophobic cab driver then kicked the couple out of his vehicle a few blocks from their home.

Yellow Cab had this to say about the incident.

"Yellow Cab immediately investigated this allegation of discrimination, including talking to the independent contractor driver. the driver stated that he would have taken the same actions if it was a man and a woman in the taxicab. Evidently, the driver was overly sensitive to passengers kissing. Yellow Cab does not have a policy about passengers showing affection in taxicabs. in fact, we encourage kissing in our taxicabs."

Yeah right.  If it had been a heterosexual couple locking lips in his backseat, the homophobe probably would have been hi- fiving and grinning at homeboy when he dropped them off.

Because Texas doesn't have a state law banning this type of discrimination and HERO is on hold pending the court case, what the homophobic cabbie did is legal.   But it ain't morally right.

"The sad reality is that it is completely legal," said GLBT community advocate Noel Freeman.

Freeman said in the ABC 13 interview that in the last six months, he's heard 4 other similar stories: gay couples getting kicked out of Yellow Cab taxis, for being affectionate.

"There are no laws in the state of Texas that protect people from discrimination in public accommodations like cabs. So someone can be kicked out of a cab because they're gay, black, because they're a woman," Freeman said.

Photo: FREE #HERO vinyl stickers are ready for Pride! Pick one up at the Festival from 1-7 pm at the Resurrection Metropolitan Community Church (Booth B1), adjacent to Half-Price Books. Happy Pride! #HOUequalityEven though HERO isn't being implemented yet, if you run into any discrimination inside the city limits of H-town, go to the Office of Inspector General at City Hall and file a complaint so they can have a record of it.  

These haters need to buy a vowel and get a clue that discrimination's time in Houston has expired.

And Yellow Cab, don't forget you now have LGBT friendly competition from Uber and Lyft..  If your  drivers want to keep handing business to them, I'm sure the Uber and Lyft people will definitely be happy to take those LGBT customers off your hands and drive them wherever they need to go inside the Houston city limits.

But this is another concrete reason why the HERO needs to be implemented without delay.

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