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Equal Rights Ordinance, Texas Influence in Washington, and Tintype Photography: Houston Matters for Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Houston City Council Wednesday delayed for a week a vote on the proposed Equal Rights Ordinance, while members review various amendments to the proposed measure. If approved, the ordinance would ban discrimination based on sex, race, age, and religion, and expand anti-bias protections for gay and transgender residents. It would apply to private businesses, […]

The Houston City Council Wednesday delayed for a week a vote on the proposed Equal Rights Ordinance, while members review various amendments to the proposed measure.

If approved, the ordinance would ban discrimination based on sex, race, age, and religion, and expand anti-bias protections for gay and transgender residents. It would apply to private businesses, housing, city employment and city contracting. Churches would be exempt.  Officials say Houston is the only major metropolitan city in the country that doesn’t prohibit discrimination by businesses such as restaurants, bars and hotels.

On this edition of Houston Matters, discuss the language in the ordinance, the reasons behind the delayed vote, and any challenges inherent in meeting the needs of the LGBT community pressing for the ordinance, and satisfying a general public divided over it.

Also this hour: the state of Texas has long had significant influence on national politics. From LBJ to both Presidents Bush hailing from the Lone Star state, to Senator Ted Cruz making waves in Washington today, our state has long been well-represented among influential politicians. But that’s just half of the story. Texas businesses and industries also influence the goings-on in DC through their lobbying arms.

We discuss the role Texas plays in national politics with Mark Leibovich, Chief National Correspondent for The New York Times Magazine, and the author of THIS TOWN: Two Parties and a Funeral, a book examining the insider culture in Washington. Leibovitch dropped by Houston Public Media this week, during a tour promoting the paperback edition of his book.

And: We’re all used to filters on our smart phone cameras or on Instagram which attempt to make a photo look “retro” – the process is as easy as a couple of taps on a screen. But one Houston photographer is doing it the hard way – the way they did it in the 1800s. For the past several years, Keliy Anderson-Staley has been using replicas of 150-year-old cameras and lenses to take tintype portraits – black-and-white photos made by casting a positive image onto a thin sheet of light-sensitive metal. Anderson-Staley shares what she loves about the tintype photography process, and what you can capture through slowly-exposed images, that today’s cell phone cameras miss.

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