HOUSTON -

Houstonians packed City Hall on Tuesday hoping for the opportunity to voice their opinion on Mayor Annise Parker’s proposed equal rights ordinance.

The proposed ordinance would expand protection to citizens on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, along with race, sex, age, and marital status.

Some big names were there Tuesday to voice their opinion.

"I'm here to tell you that discrimination does exist," said State. Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston. "We live in a great city that we love, and have come a long way towards addressing discrimination, but we have a long way to go."

The Houston City Council is scheduled to vote on the ordinance on May 14.