How does this ordinance affect churches or religious organizations?


This ordinance has a general exemption for churches and other religious organizations.  That means the ordinance DOES NOT apply to them and they may continue to engage in employment, housing, or public accommodations activities that are consistent with their religious beliefs.

The Houston Equal Rights Ordinance uses the following definitions:

"Religion means all aspects of religious observance and practice, as well as belief.

"Religious Organization means:

  1. A religious corporation, association, social service, or society;
  2. A school, college, university, or other educational institution or institution of learning, if the institution is, in whole or in substantial part, controlled, managed, owned, or supported by a religion, religious corporation, association or society; or the curriculum of the institution is directed toward the propagation of a religion; or
  3. A nonprofit institution or organization operated, supervised, or controlled by a religious corporation, association, social service or society."