Today, Houston, Texas voters will be deciding on Proposition 1, the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (or HERO), which will add gender identity and sexual orientation to the existing anti-discrimination laws. HERO’s wording on the ballot is very straightforward:
Are you in favor of the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, Ord. No. 2014-530, which prohibits discrimination in city employment and city services, city contracts, public accommodations, private employment, and housing based on an individual’s sex, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, familial status, marital status, military status, religion, disability, sexual orientation, genetic information, gender identity, or pregnancy?
Despite this, and support from local and national organizations like the ACLU of Texas, the Human Rights Campaign and the Houston branch of the NAACP, HERO’s opponents have erroneously reframed it as a “bathroom bill“. They make the absurd (and completely debunked) claim that if HERO is passed, sex offenders will stalk bathrooms for children to victimize.
Even though this argument is clearly idiotic, polls are suggesting it will be a close race — too close to call. There have been many pro-HERO editorials around the country, and lots of activity on Twitter, including the #BeyBeAHERO campaign, urging Beyonce to speak up in support of Proposition 1.
— Carlos Maza (@gaywonk) November 2, 2015
Other celebrities have also rallied to the cause:
— transadvocate (@transadvocate) October 30, 2015
— HumanRightsCampaign (@HRC) October 23, 2015
Other Twitter accounts are sharing statistics and news to arm voters:
— DCHomos (@DCHomos) October 31, 2015
— Houston Unites (@Houston_Unites) October 24, 2015
And there have been a number of videos shared to get the word out:
— HumanRightsCampaign (@HRC) October 30, 2015
— Aaron Rhodes (@AaronRhodes_) October 28, 2015
All eyes will be on Houston tonight, as the results come in. What do you think — will sanity win the day, or will Houston’s public image get a black eye?
(Featured image via @Houston_Unites)