The marathon May 28 combined 11 hour council session ended with the 11-6 vote passing the HERO and unbridled celebration of it going well into the night.
It was a great and historic day for LGBT Houston and everyone else inside Beltway 8 who value the human rights of all who call this 628 square miles of Texas territory home.
While much of Team HERO was celebrating at the Guava Lamp and other places last night while Mayor Parker was signing it into law, I took my behind home. I called Mom, chatted with her about the events of the day, watched the local news reports, and finished the initial post concerning my first impressions of an emotional day I've been waiting to arrive for nearly 16 years of activism and 30 years of my life.
And what do you do when a long time activism goal of yours finally becomes a reality? I cried for a minute, processed the thought that Houston is now on the list of cities that protect the human rights of everyone, profusely thanked all the councilmembers who voted for it, talked to some that didn't, and then proceeded to hug everyone in sight.
Now let's move on to post-HERO vote business. This is how the historic 11-6 council vote broke down last night. :
Mayor Annise Parker- YES
A. Stardig NO
B Davis YES
C Cohen YES
D Boykins NO
E Martin NO
F Nguyen YES
G Pennington NO
H. Gonzales YES
I Gallegos YES
J. Laster YES
K. Green YES
1. Costello YES
2. Robinson YES
3. Kubosh NO
4. Bradford YES
5. Christie NO
Surprise and angering NO votes to LGBT Houston were CM Christie and CM Boykins. Both did indicate to the LGBT caucus in the 2013 cycle when they were seeking the community's endorsement they would vote YES should this ordinance pop up.
CM Christie shouldn't have really been a surprise to throw us under the human rights bus. He knocked more community friendly former CM Jolanda Jones out of her at large council seat in 2011 and has raised some red flags by being anti-vaccine.
CM Dwight Boykins' NO vote really disappointed and pissed me and a lot of Black LGBT Houston off, his publicly expressed exasperation with the process and Mayor Parker notwithstanding.
As one of the council newbies (and my councilmember) the sellout Houston pastors in the Baptist Ministers Association of Houston and Vicinity focused much of their browbeating on him and it worked.
Like you personally Dwight, but dude, you're going down in the Houston history books as having voted against a human rights ordinance that BENEFITS our entire Houston community.
And your statement that District D is conservative? You're kidding, right? Um, no. You have two universities in TSU and UH in your district, the peeps who can't afford to live in the Montrose gayborhood and folks who aren't followers of the sellout Baptist minster kneegrows that were browbeating you
We are liberal-progressive in District D and proud of it. And as you probably noted a Republican doesn't stand a chance of getting elected in District D unless he lies about it or keeps it on the down low.
As for CM Kubosh, when he made his comment at the Grace KKKommunity Church Hate Rally, he became a target the day he made that problematic 'God put me on council to oppose the HERO' comment.
And yes Councilmember Kubosh, you don't think we didn't have some of our peeps and allies in the crowd at the Hate on the HERO event reporting back to us?
As to what the Daves and the faith-based haters will do. As I said in a previous post, if they want to commit political suicide and boost Democratic turnout in Harris County by attempting to roll the HERO back via a referendum, make mine, Battleground Texas and the Harris County Democratic Party's political day.
As to what I wrote back on May 23:.
Houston and Harris County provide 16% of the statewide votes in an election cycle. Are the conservafools that pissed off about the HERO passing they would go there and give our liberal progressive voters another valid reason to bumrush the polls this November, especially in an election cycle in which Wendy Davis and Leticia Van de Putte sit at the top of our statewide Democratic ticket?
And with that juiced up Harris County turnout showing up and showing out, we'd urge those same progressive voters to handle their electoral business and cast ballots for every Democrat in down ballot race like the judicial ones.
So please, be that politically stupid and go there. Make my political day.
While the HERO is law and there will be many happy celebrations of that fact at Houston Pride next month, we still have much human rights work to do in H-town.
Passing HERO was the easy part. We still have work to do to defend it while simultaneously implementing it There was far too much toxic anti-trans disinformation put out there Houston trans people and our allies will have to clean up.
The offer I made to do the Trans 101 education still stands.
LGBT Houston, we have to do a much better job of showing up and showing out for human rights fights that aren't predominately our own battles from this May 28 day forward because the H-town human rights struggle still continues.
But last night's successful HERO vote ensured that we woke up this morning to a changed Houston human rights landscape. And I damned sure am going to do my part to fight to keep it that way.