06 November 2015

Justice Prevailed in Houston

No Men in Women's Bathroom
Last 3 November, Houston voters proved one thing: values still matter to majority of Texans.

An ordinance that would have discriminated against the rights of straight men and women for privacy and promote mentally ill people's desire to harass people inside bathrooms was voted down in Houston's referendum.

The Houston Equal Rights Ordinance was rejected after a nearly 18-month battle that spawned rallies, legal fights and accusations of infringement of natural rights and catering to the whimpering urges and intolerance coming from the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

With nearly 95 percent of precincts reporting, Houston residents had rejected the ordinance by a vote of 61 percent to 39 percent. So much for the false assumption that majority are in favor of the LGBT lifestyle.

Opponents, including a coalition of conservative pastors, said it infringed on their religious beliefs regarding homosexuality. But in the months leading up to the vote, opponents focused their campaign on highlighting one part of the ordinance related to the use of public bathrooms by transgender men and women that would open the door for sexual predators to go into women's restrooms.

The state's top two elected leaders — Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, both Republicans — praised the defeat, with Abbott saying the voters "showed values still matter."

Patrick, who vaulted to power on the basis of an ardent tea party following, called the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) "liberal nonsense" that voters were right to see as never about equality, saying that was "already the law." Rather, he said it was only about allowing men to enter women's restrooms and locker rooms "defying" — in his words — "common sense and common decency."

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, a conservative political advocacy group, said in a statement that Tuesday's defeat of the ordinance made Houston "a rallying cry for Americans tired of seeing their freedoms trampled in a politically correct stampede to redefine marriage and sexuality."

The ordinance was initially approved by the Houston City Council in May 2014, but a lawsuit to have residents vote on the measure eventually made it to the Texas Supreme Court, which in July ordered the city to either repeal the ordinance or put it on the ballot.