An email from the far-right Houston Area Pastor Council today calls on pastors “to serve as the turning point in the anti-family tide” by using their churches this Sunday to collect signatures for a referendum overturning the city’s recently passed Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO). From the email:
Pastors, that is a reminder that we can gather signatures ONE MORE SUNDAY so please pull out all the stops one last time! I urge you to have qualified voters with petitions at your doors before and after services as well as the tables set up in each main entrance with strong pulpit promotion again
We can truly say that like the “Walker, Texas Ranger” theme song, “The eyes of Texas are upon you!” The state is watching us and in fact the nation is watching us to see if the LGBT movement chalks up another victory at the expense of all this is good, decent and right according to the Word of God…
…or whether the pastors, congregations and citizens of Houston will serve as the turning point in the anti-family tide by stopping this HERE and NOW.
Houston’s City Council passed the Equal Rights Ordinance on May 28 by a vote of 11-6. The ordinance protects against discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations based on gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity and other characteristics.
Passage came despite a divisive and deceitful campaign by religious-right groups and activists to stop it. That campaign promoted fear, myths, distortions and even personal attacks against Mayor Annise Parker. Opponents denounced LGBT people as evil and shamefully claimed the ordinance would allow sexual predators into women’s restrooms. They also argued that the ordinance threatens their religious freedom — the freedom, that is, to discriminate against people they don’t like. At one point a Houston pastor who opposed the HERO even insisted that religious freedom allows a businessperson or anyone else to discriminate against anyone, including Jews as well as LGBT people.
In the end, however, a broad coalition of grassroots organizations, including Equality Texas, Texans Together, the ACLU of Texas and the Texas Freedom Network, working behind the courageous leadership of Mayor Parker, Council Member Ellen Cohen and religious leaders across Houston, made sure that equality won and demonstrated to the rest of the country that Houston doesn’t discriminate.
Now the Houston Area Pastor Council, led by one of the city’s most vicious voices of hate, Dave Welch, hopes to repeal the HERO with a public vote. A signature campaign to put San Antonio’s new Nondiscrimination Ordinance up for a public referendum last year failed. The number of required petition signers is lower in Houston, however. Supporters of a November HERO referendum must submit their list of signers to the city by July 3.