Battle over Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance: Truth vs. Lies

The Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO), as the short video above shows, isn’t hard to understand.

But the rhetoric from religious-righters is increasingly vitriolic and deceitful in the reckless campaign to repeal HERO. Religious-right activists are even claiming that Mayor Annise Parker, who supports the ordinance, is calling people who have organized to oppose the ordinance “criminals.”

“When the City Mayor calls its own citizens “criminals”, there may be something wrong.”

Liberty Institute, a religious-right litigation group based in the North Texas city of Plano, isn’t telling the truth. Mayor Parker hasn’t called opponents “criminals,” although city attorneys have said evidence strongly suggests that many signatures on the petition to repeal HERO are invalid under existing law and that some might even be fraudulent.

So let’s talk about the truth. HERO bars discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, race, religion, gender, military status and other categories. The anti-discrimination protections cover employment, housing and public accommodations.

Religious-righters are mostly upset that the ordinance protects LGBT people from discrimination (although they also want the right also to discriminate against anyone else, such as Jews, for religious reasons). In fact, before HERO’s passage last year, it was legal in Houston to fire or evict someone who is gay or transgender.

Protecting people from discrimination, including people who are gay or transgender, is about treating others as we want to be treated. All people should be treated fairly and equally by our laws. Nobody should have to live in fear of being fired for reasons that have nothing to do with job performance or evicted from their homes because of who they are and whom they love.

That’s the truth about HERO. Remember that as opponents try to frighten, divide and mislead voters about this common-sense ordinance.

8 thoughts on “Battle over Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance: Truth vs. Lies

  1. It is so sad that those godless bigots lie when they say that they have deeply held beliefs. They have NO beliefs except to scoff at the bible.
    MY bible–I am Jewish–says to love my neighbor as myself. Their beliefs are to hate their neighbors who hate like they do.
    Poor people, they have no love for anyone. Jesus told Christians to love their neighbors as themselves. Since those people who want to discriminate against people who are not like themselves. Since that is against what I know about Christianity, I can say with a clear conscious that they are not Christians.
    What I cannot understand is why the United States’ civil rights legislation doesn’t cover this situation.
    They are anything but HEROs.

  2. Bible-Pounders are as they have always been, bigoted, self-righteous, sanctimonious, selfish and cruel. They always want everything with which they agree to be the law of the land and screw everything else. That’s why I intone Bertrand Russel, “I am not a Christian” and more over will never be a Christian, or any other of the multitudes of “isms” and believer in anything supernatural; just a member in good standing of the Human Race.

  3. What I am having a problem with is this is the United States of America, right? So doesn’t our civil rights legislation cover this?

    Take a look at history. This is EXACTLY the kind of thinking that lead Germany into Fascism that permitted the Nazi party to come into power.

    No wonder that so many young people are turning away from religion.

  4. I don’t think a homosexual should get fired for being that way but, a transgender person being allowed to use public showers of either sex is somewhat disturbing to me.

  5. and actually, that’s the issue the most Houston Religious- righters are concerned about, especially when it comes to their children seeing something while at a public shower. but, the liberal media hasn’t bothered to mention that part of the story I wonder why?

    1. That’s a red-herring argument simply designed to cultivate irrational fears, Jonathan. That’s why most folks don’t take it seriously.

      1. Actually, that’s the only part of HERO that I disagree with, the public accommodations part. If they would drop that part of it, I would be all for it but, let me ask you this, will this law allow or not allow a transgender person to enter a school and use whichever public bathroom they wish, be it male or female, even if that person is or was an adult male? I understand that when HERO was first written, the writing initially said any protected characteristic which meant that a male could enter a female bathroom and vice versa. I’m assuming that at least that part has been changed?

        1. That isn’t to say that a transgender person should be denied the right to use a restroom only that they should be restricted to one restroom as everyone else is, and that the language of HERO is too vague. There are people who believe all public bathrooms should be gender neutral. This idea is very naive. There are far too many perverts and deviants for this idea to be considered without a major retooling of public bathrooms as we know them.