Super Bowl resists pressure to withdraw from Houston after scrapping of LGBT rights law
The 2017 Super Bowl will still be held in Houston, after the city voted to abolish all protections for LGBT workers.
The Texas city has faced a protracted battle over the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, which was the only legislation providing for basic protections for LGBT workers in the city given the lack of state or federal protections.
Following a prolonged scaremongering campaign, Houston voters opted to repeal the law this week – with 61% voting to scrap the law.
Anti-LGBT activists had repeatedly claimed prior to the vote that the law allows men to molest little girls in female bathrooms, with no factual basis.
Reacting to the repeal of protections for LGBT workers in the city, some have called for the NFL to change the venue of 2017’s Super Bowl – which is set to be hosted in the city’s NRG Stadium.
Pro-HERO activist John LaRue had told ABC News: “The Super Bowl is slated to come in 2017, and there are rumblings of plans to ask the NFL to move and go elsewhere in support of LGBT people and other groups HERO would have protected.
“I also talked to some people last night, and we’re planning to create a voluntary system and group made of people who, while not obligated by City Hall, will still choose to enforce HERO’s protections in their businesses.”
However, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said: “This will not affect our plans for Super Bowl LI in 2017.
“We will work closely with the Houston Super Bowl Host Committee to make sure all fans feel welcomed at our events.
“Our policies emphasize tolerance and inclusiveness, and prohibit discrimination based on age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, or any other improper standard.”