Houston Repeal Effort Gains National Attention
Last week, Texas Values Action and a group of pastors and community leaders who have led the opposition to Mayor Annise Parker’s “Equal Rights Ordinance” delivered petitions to Houston City Hall containing well above the minimum number of qualified signatures to certify a referendum on the measure. The City of Houston must now repeal the anti-religious liberty ordinance or place it on the ballot for a vote by the people in the November Election.
The effort to repeal this dangerous ordinance continues to gain traction and is garnering national attention, even while Mayor Parker has continued to try defend the ordinance against growing opposition.
From our friends at the Family Research Council:
The Houston City Council may have voted on the Mayor’s controversial “bathroom bill,” but they won’t have the final say. A month after liberals muscled their twisted sexual agenda through the city legislature, Texas Values [Action] and concerned locals across the city are breathing new life into the debate that many thought was over. Within days, local voters kicked off a petition drive with the goal of gathering enough signatures to get the issue on the ballot.
From the Christian Post:
In response to a petition that reportedly garnered over 50,000 signatories, the mayor of Houston has pledged to defend an antidiscrimination ordinance that critics say will allow transgendered men to use women’s bathrooms…
…Critics of HERO have claimed that it will have several unintended consequences, such as allowing transgendered men to use women’s bathrooms. Jonathan Saenz, a conservative activist and president of the pro-repeal group Texas Values Action, told CP in an earlier interview about his issues with HERO.
“The city has admitted that the public accommodation section of the anti-religious liberty ordinance will protect men who want to use women’s bathrooms if they dress up as women,” said Saenz. “And City Attorney David Feldman admitted at a public hearing that this ordinance will be used to prosecute photographers who do not want to participate in photographing same-sex wedding-like ceremonies.”
From World Magazine:
Conservative Christians in Houston dropped off petitions filled with 50,000 signatures at City hall Thursday, throwing down the gauntlet in a fight for religious liberty city officials thought was over. If the signatures are verified, Houston must place its controversial new LGBT anti-bias ordinance on November’s ballot. “Today was a historic day on this type of city ordinance,” said Jonathan Saenz, director of the conservative group Texas Values. “Houston … clearly declared their independence from the tyranny of the mayor.”
…Mayor Annise Parker in May rammed through the “Equal Rights Ordinance” in hearings some called a sham. Supporters say it is a generic civil rights ordinance that simply includes “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.” But religious liberty experts say it clearly forces Christian organizations and businesses to act against their biblical beliefs about sexuality…
…The ordinance outlaws discrimination in “any place of public accommodation.” When it comes to a person’s self-declared gender identity, that includes restrooms and locker rooms. Religious exemptions are scant, and Christian colleges likely could not uphold their sexual conduct requirements. Religious organizations can restrict housing to church membership “unless membership in the religion is restricted because of a protected characteristic,” the ordinance reads.”