Historic Victory in Houston as Proposition 1 Bathroom Ordinance is Defeated
Houston, TX, November 3, 2015– Today, Houston voters said “no” to a radical, expansive power grab that threatened the safety and liberty of Houston residents. In an historic vote, the bathroom ordinance that would have allowed men to use women’s bathroom and locker rooms also called “HERO” was voted down 61%-39%..
Jonathan Saenz, president of Texas Values Action released the following statement:
“This is a national game-changer. Today’s vote is a massive victory for common sense, safety, and religious freedom, not just in Houston, but for all of Texas. The eyes of the nation were on Houston, and the people sent a clear message and soundly rejected this intentionally deceptive and dangerous ordinance. Millions of dollars pouring in from national LGBT extremists, an out-of-control Mayor, and a sustained media onslaught could not overcome the tireless efforts of Houston pastors and people of faith standing for common sense, safety, and liberty. I was born and raised in Houston, and I had faith Houstonians would do the right thing, and they did. This vote will impact the nation and shows, once again, that the people still support common sense Texas values.”
National, state and local groups, activists and political figures have all weighed in on this issue; with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (longtime Houston resident) and Houston Astros star Lance Berkman and Houston megachurch pastor Dr. Ed Young, and a coalition of local black, Hispanic and Asian pastors and churches opposing the bathroom ordinance; who were being pitted against Hillary Clinton and Sally Field, both who are from outside of Houston and Texas were being pushed as big supporters of the ordinance that adds “gender identity” and “sexual orientation” to protection for places of “public accommodation” which includes bathrooms, locker room and shower rooms. Many people believe that ordinance just goes too far and is poorly worded as the ordinance is stretched out over 25 pages and would have given new power to local government that is hard to compare in other places in Texas.
The legal link below shows that many cases of crimes that have been committed against women and children in bathrooms. LGBT Supporters of the ordinance have tried to convince people that they want to protect against “discrimination” for all classes of people including race; but this argument has been exposed as untrue and rejected as laws already exist that protect against discrimination on race and religion, black leaders were not consulted from the beginning, and numerous African American, Asian American and Hispanic leaders in Houston led by Pastor Hernan Castano and Pastor Willie Davis all opposed the ordinance. See details of this here.
Also, numerous videos have been produced (see here) validating the safety and freedom concerns with disturbing examples from another city in Texas with similar laws, and a stunning admission by Houston Mayor Annise Parker that “this is about me.” Parker is an open lesbian and the main supporter of the ordinance that for some aims to pit religious freedom, rights of conscience and personal liberty against alternative views on sexuality and the rights of the public square and faith-based and private business owners that can face up to $5000 in fines for running afoul of the ordinance just for providing safety in their bathrooms.
Within just the past year the legislatures of Idaho, Wyoming, and North Dakota declined to pass similar laws. So have the following cities: Berea, KY (October 2014), Fountain Hills, AZ (November 2014), Beckley, WV (December 2014), Glendale, AZ, which hosted this year’s Super Bowl (January 2015), Bardstown, KY (March 2015), Charlotte, NC (March 2015), Scottsdale, AZ (March 2015), Elkhart, IN (July 2015), and Goshen, IN (August 2015). Voters in both Fayetteville, AR and Springfield, MO, recently repealed similar laws.
Saenz was a part of the legal strategy that resulted in Texas Values Action Board Member, Jared Woodfill, bringing suit against the city after the city refused to acknowledge over 50,000 signatures from Houstonians requesting that the ordinance be placed on the ballot for a citizen vote. He also helped organize a national rally after the Houston Mayor subpoenaed 5 pastors for speaking against the ordinance.
Pastor Dave Welch and the Houston Area Pastors Council lead the faith-based effort local to defeat the ordinance.
About Texas Values Action
Texas Values Action is the 501(c)(4) advocacy arm of Texas Values, a non-profit organization dedicated to standing for faith, family, and freedom in Texas. More information is available at txvaluesaction.org.