The Right’s ‘Culture War’ Drags on in Houston

Religious-righters in Houston are still foaming at the mouth over the election last fall of an openly gay candidate, then-city controller Annise Parker, as mayor. As reported last fall, religious extremists disingenuously claimed Parker had made her sexual orientation “a central part of her campaign” and warned that her election would be “destructive to the family.”

Among those behind the anti-Parker smear campaign was Dave Welch, head of the far-right Houston Area Pastor Council. Now the Pastor Council is denouncing two executive orders Parker signed last week protecting city employees from harassment or discrimination in hiring, promotion and contracting based on sexual orientation and gender identity. They also allow transgendered city employees — but not nonemployees — to use restroom facilities in city-owned buildings for the gender with which they identify.

In a press release today, the Pastor Council’s spokespeople warned of “cross-dressing men invading” women’s restrooms as a result. And Pastor Hernan Castano, senior pastor of Iglesia Rios de Aceite, argued that the orders were too broad:

“There are currently no legal boundaries of either of these two new categories of minority status, unlike the color of a person’s skin, their biological gender or religious faith. Protecting ‘expression’ and ‘identity’ are designed to drop the bottom out of our moral foundation. This is not only morally wrong it exposes the city and therefore the taxpayers to endless litigation and expenses. It is irresponsible and indefensible.”

You can expect the culture war over Parker’s mayoral administration to continue for quite some time.

7 thoughts on “The Right’s ‘Culture War’ Drags on in Houston

  1. There are many places globally where bathroom facilities are not gender specific, and I don’t think I’ve heard of criminal offenses occurring simply because of that. Anyone who commits crimes against another would not respect a simple sign on a door… they’d commit the crime regardless. So it seems a tempest in a teapot to put forth the idea that transgender bathrooms is a danger .. or more dangerous than any other place.

  2. It’s probably a good idea to give the RRR something inconsequential to whine about. Keep them occupied while you go about the business of running the city and helping the local economy recover. Etc.

  3. “RRR?” Is that the “Radical Religious Right?”

    Texas politics is such an embarrassment — especially incidents like this. I participate on an international message board, and sometimes they think I make this stuff up.

  4. I wonder where Larry Craig would fit into this discussion?

    (Suck it Republicans!)

  5. Wonder if any of these homophobic bozos have every been in a hospital or doctor’s office? Most have restrooms. Not men’s rooms. Not ladies rooms. Restrooms. I haven’t heard any hew and cry about THAT!