Those of us advocating the long overdue passing of the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance have had a pretty good run of success.
When it was revealed it covered city and private employment. There was a HERO town hall in the gayborhood held surprisingly by one of the councilmembers penciled in initially as a leaning NO vote in Michael Kubosh. It covered sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing and public accommodations, albeit clunkily and the PA language in Section 17-51 (b) sucked as far as the trans community was concerned.
The 50 employee threshold was also too high. Those concerns are being addressed in amendments offered by Councilmembers Gonzales, Gallegos and Davis.
We have the support of LULAC, the NAACP, the Urban League, Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia (D), State Senators John Whitmire, Sylvia Garcia and Rodney Ellis, state Reps.Garnet Coleman, Jessica Farrar, and Carol Alvarado. We have the support of the Greater Houston Partnership and other business groups. The Houston Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus, Equality Texas, TENT and BTMI/BTWI's Houston chapters have also been in this fight They have been outgunned 127-38 in terms of pro-HERO speakers vs. anti-HERO speakers in the two hearings so far on the proposed ordinance.
The anti-HERO's? They have the support of long time gay baiters Dave Wilson, Dave Welch, and Dr. Steven Hotze, the quixotic President Joseph Charles, a few misguided citizens and a gaggle of anti-gay sellout Black ministers.
Correction, to be more accurate, more like anti-trans Black ministers since all they've babbled about in the HERO hearings is the easily debunked bathroom predator lie.
We in Houston have waited 30 years for this opportunity to present itself again, and this is an all hands on deck human rights project The world is watching us this time. Time to pass the HERO with no excuses, no more delays. Human rights for Houstonians can't wait.
The anti-HERO's are on the wrong side of history (again), and hopefully that will become evident this Wednesday when City Council votes to pass the HERO. But it didn't stop the anti-HERO's from making one last desperate play to try to turn the tsunami of public opinion and wave building for passage of the HERO.
They spent this Mother's Day weekend deploying robocalls and on Sunday, transphobic radio commercials in heavy rotation. They deployed Mike Huckabee, and are planning a noon anti-HERO rally on Tuesday in which I predict will be nothing more than a public Two Minute Hate aimed at the trans community
So we counter their frenzied activity this Tuesday by redoubling our efforts to ensure we have our butts in the seats at City Hall ready to speak. Find more progressive ministers, diverse LGBT citizens, and stories of LGBT and non-LGBT H-town discrimination
Call the City Secretary's office to sign up to speak in favor of the ordinance. You do so by calling 832-393-1100 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org and stating you would like to testify before City Council on Tuesday, May 13, at 1:30 PM.
The City Secretary will ask for your name, phone number, and home address. You don't need to be a Houston resident to speak as the hater have taken advantage of. The topic is the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance. Ask for 1 minute to speak because with the volume of speakers expected tomorrow, the normal 3 minutes will be cut down to 1
It takes nine votes to pass ordinances on our 16 member city council, and Mayor Parker does get a vote. However, these Houston council members have expressed uncertainty about
whether they wish to support the HERO. Give them a call to let them
know how this vote affects you and countless other LGBT Houstonians
(and future Houstonians):
Jerry Davis: 832-393-3009
Dave Martin: 832-393-3008
David Robinson: 832-393-3013
Michael Kubosh: 832-393-3005
C.O. 'Brad' Bradford: 832-393-3012
Jack Christie: 832-393-3017
Kubosh is especially important to reach out to because he has been getting major attention and grief from the hate ministers for daring to meet with us. Davis and Bradford as African-Ameircans have been getting the ire of the hate minsters, too
If you're coming to 901 Bagby St (the address for Houston City Hall), get there early so you can sign in for your visitor's badge, get through security and get a seat in the 255 seat council chamber. Wear red tomorrow in support of the HERO. Call Council Members today through Wednesday and let them know you support passage of the HERO without the Pennington amendments designed to gut the HERO. If we get the favorable vote we expect on Wednesday, call again later in the week to thank all of the councilmembers who supported us.
Let the anti-HERO's show their azzes as the faith based bigots and fools they try to deny they are, but have been role modeling for the last month. We show us well dressed, low stressed, and exuding class and dignity because we have the moral and ethical high ground. The anti-HERO's don't and they know it..
We pro-HERO folks have made the case as to why the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance is needed and necessary, while all they have offered is 'fear and smear', obfuscations and blatant easily debunkable lies
So don't panic, people. The arc of the moral universe is bending toward justice for us, and the anti-HERO's can't stand it. They are in the last gasp of desperately fighting us before we walk away with a long awaited Houston human rights victory.