Texans owner Bob McNair is rescinding a $10,000 contribution he made to Campaign of Houston after being involved in a controversy surrounding opposition to HERO, the city’s equal rights ordinance.
McNair released a lengthy statement Friday where he said unauthorized statements attributed to his beliefs were distributed that were never discussed with him, saying he won’t tolerate any personal or professional discrimination.
Here’s the entire statement from McNair:
“I recently made a personal contribution to Campaign for Houston because my thorough review of the HERO ordinance led me to believe that a thoughtful rewrite would provide a better ordinance that would provide strong non-discrimination protections for all Houstonians, which I would support, and would be less divisive of our city.
It was on these principles that I made my personal contribution to Campaign for Houston. To my great dismay, Campaign for Houston made numerous unauthorized statements about my opposition to HERO in print, broadcast and social media – including attributing certain statements of belief to me. Their actions and statements were never discussed with nor approved by me. Therefore I instructed the Campaign to return my contribution.
I do not believe in or tolerate personal or professional discrimination of any kind. I also believe that we Houstonians should have an ordinance that unites our community and provides a bold statement of non-discrimination. I encourage all Houstonians to vote on November 3.
Robert F. Kennedy once said, “Few will have the greatness to bend history itself; but each of us can work together to change a small portion of events, and in the total of those acts will be written the history of our generation.”
Critics of the law, mostly conservatives, object to the nondiscrimination protections extending to gay and transgender residents and claim it would allow men into women’s restrooms. The ordinance also bans discrimination based on sex, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, religion, disability, pregnancy and genetic information, as well as family, marital or military status.
The ordinance is applicable to businesses that serve the public, private employers, housing, city employment and city contracting. Religious institutions are exempt. Violators can be fined up to $5,000.
HERO supporters, including Mayor Annise Parker, have warned that repealing the law could damage the city’s economy and could jeopardize high-profile events such as the 2017 Super Bowl awarded to Houston.
A spokesman for Houston Unites, the pro-HERO campaign, cheered McNair’s decision.
“Like Bob McNair, many Houstonians are taking a step back and realizing the opposition’s ads on the Equal Rights Ordinance are intended to raise anxiety with outright distortions and quite frankly lies,” said Kevin Nix. “When you take a second look, the Equal Rights Ordinance protects all Houstonians from discrimination and makes Houston a place everyone can be proud to call home.”