On June 7, 1962 City Council passed an ordinance prohibiting segregation in hotels, motels, restaurants and theaters. Mayor Seitsinger vetoed the ordinance and City Council overrode his veto.
The City Council today passed on first reading an ordinance which would prohibit racial or religious segregation in El Paso hotels, motels, restaurants, and theaters. The ordinance would punish such segregation as a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum $200 fine.
The ordinance was proposed by Alderman Bert Williams and seconded by Alderman Ted Bender.
"I agree in principle with the ordinance," Mayor Seitsinger said, "but I believe that integration should be on a voluntary basis
The proposed ordinance has been in the planning stages for more than a month. It was prepared at the insistence of civic leaders of El Paso.
The new ordinance is titled: "An ordinance forbidding discrimination in certain public places because of race, color, or religion, and making violation a misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed $200."
Text of the ordinance, in part reads: "Section I — It shall be unlawful for any owner, operator, or manager of any hotel, motel, restaurant or theater in the City of El Paso or for any agent or employe of such owner to refuse withhold from, or deny from any person for any reason directly or indirectly relating to race, color, or religion of such person any of the accommodations, advantages, facilities, or 'other such services . . ."
Section II of the new ordinance defines the terms "hotel and motel" "theaters." The ordinance excludes private clubs, and such hotels and motels that have a majority of permanent guests.