Religious Right Narrative Helps Repeal Houston's Anti-Discrimination Ordinance

Disappointing news out of Houston.

From Buzzfeed News:

Houston voters on Tuesday repealed a city law that protected LGBT people and others from discrimination. The decisive vote a was setback to progressive organizations that tried to uphold the ordinance and a victory for Christian conservatives who ran a campaign alleging the law would allow men to attack women in public bathrooms.

With nearly all precincts reporting, results showed voters repealing the law by 61% to 39%, according to the Harris County Clerk’s Office.

“We are celebrating tonight!” Jared Woodfill, the chief spokesman of the repeal effort, told BuzzFeed News in a phone call from an election night party.

“We don’t believe that males — regardless of whether they are transgender or cross-dressers or someone who identifies as a woman — should be able to go into a female restroom, shower, or locker room under the protection of law,” he said.

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It's important to note that the Texas Religious Right establishment had an inordinate amount of influence in yesterday's vote. As Simon Brown mentioned in yesterday's post, anti-HERO pastors and religious leaders zeroed in on the "men in women's bathrooms" issue, a lurid scare tactic that cast transgender women as predators. Forgetting the the statistical unlikelihood of men dressing up as women to prey on little girls in public restrooms for a moment, this insulting narrative had the added effect of disenfranchising not only transgender Houstonians, but other members of the LGBT community, women, people of color, and other minorities. The result? Some Houstonians are waking up to fewer rights than they went to bed with.

As always, we stand in solidarity with those in Houston suffering from the actions of the Religious Right.